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Banksy painted SWAT van goes under the hammer

A SWAT van painted by Banksy could fetch up to £300,000 at auction.

The second hand van has distinctive graffiti stencils and mysteriously disappeared after it was the centrepiece of the Bristol artist's debut US show in 2006.

It depicts heavily armed Special Forces agents being hoodwinked by a small boy on one side, while Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz amidst a sea of graffiti tags is on the other.

Credit: Bonhams

It was shown in an industrial warehouse in downtown Los Angeles as part of the show which also featured a live elephant, painted red and gold.

The eccentric show was attended by A-list celebrities including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Dennis Hopper and was credited with kickstarting his rise to international fame.

Previous work by the mysterious artist has sold for up to half a million pounds.

The van has now resurfaced and is to be auctioned at Bonhams with an estimate of £200,00 to £300,000.

All of Banksy is on show here: his bravado, his imagination, his technical prowess, his confidence and his willingness to put his head above the parapet and use truth as a weapon.

– Ralph Taylor, Senior Director of Bonhams Post-War and Contemporary Art department

The auction takes place at New Bond Street on June 24.