Back when Banksy was in SF promoting his documentary, I got to meet Sami Sunchild and talk about the large rat that was on the side of her Red Vic bed and breakfast building (read about it). I introduced her to Banksy via my book as well as the artist's own. And her manager let me go onto the roof for exclusive shots of the socialist rat (see my photo below). Ever since I saw the empty space on that wall get replaced with plain wood by a work crew, I've wondered who took the rat and what it's fate was. At long last the SF Chronicle tracked the owner down. And Sami asked him to never sell it. End of story?
Quest to display an S.F. Banksy tests value of street art
By Evan Sernoffsky
June 20, 2014 | Updated: June 21, 2014 10:24pm
Art restorers in Santa Barbara began work last week on an unusual canvas: 10 graffiti-covered redwood boards that were ripped from the side of a Victorian home on Haight Street.
Spray-painted on the slats is a beret-wearing rat clutching a Magic Marker, the stenciled work of anonymous street art superstar Banksy, who tore through San Francisco in 2010.
Private collectors have extended six-figure bids for the piece. But a self-described "art freak" from San Francisco who owns it doesn't want to profit from the piece, and he says he can't without breaking a promise.