Russian online news sites, Telegram channels and English-language sites associated with Russian propaganda are distributing a fake screenshot that was allegedly taken from Banksy’s official Instagram account. In a fake post, the artist is outraged that Ukrainians are allegedly selling for $50,000 on the eBay platform the graffiti that the artist painted in mid-November on a building destroyed by Russian aerial bombs in Borodianka.
There are no such posts on Banksy’s official Instagram page, but Russian propagandists made a fake story as if from stories that disappear after 24 hours. However, in his stories, the artist only announces his artwork, and important information, including information that infuriates the artist, is given in a regular post. For example, on November 18, he published a post in which he accused a store of the well-known brand Guess of using, without his knowledge, his famous artwork “The Flower Thrower” in the advertisement of the store. “Attention all shoplifters. Please go to GUESS on Regent Street [in London]. They’ve helped themselves to my artwork without asking. How can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?” Banksy wrote.
On the artist’s official website, there is a list of all fake exhibitions and artworks of the artist. However, there is nothing about the Ukrainians allegedly selling his graffiti on eBay.
There is also no lot for sale of Banksy’s artwork from Borodianka on eBay. A search for the phrase “Selling a piece of graffiti Banksy from Borodianka” appearing in the fake post gives other results.
There are no hyperlinks to Banksy’s Instagram stories or to the page selling the painting on eBay in Russian Telegram channels and media outlets. The only site that provides at least some source with fake stories refers to a tweet by a user with 2,860 followers, whose page contains many posts with pro-Russian narratives.
In addition, under the corresponding message on this site, it is stated that some of the materials are distributed automatically and do not express the point of view of the site, so no one is responsible for their content.
Another interesting detail. The text of Banksy’s story is written in the proxima font, just like the text on the eBay website screen. There is no such font in Instagram stories.
The design of stories is also questionable. The three dots that indicate features on the mobile and desktop versions of Instagram are horizontal, while on the fake screen they are vertical. In the mobile version, there is also a cross in the upper right corner, clicking on which allows you to close the story, but it is not there on the screen. In the computer version, there are “stop” and “play” marks in the upper right corner, as well as a function to turn the sound on or off.
There is no news in the world and Ukrainian media outlets about Banksy’s outrage that his paintings are being sold in Ukraine on eBay. There are similar reports only on Russian websites.
The paintings of one of the most famous contemporary artists will not be sold in Ukraine. The paintings will become an asset of cultural heritage. According to the Borodianka Village Council, the graffiti will be included in the list of cultural heritage objects and will be protected by the police.
Ukrinform also contacted Mr. Banksy for comment. At the time of the publication of the material, the answer has not yet been received.