Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Banksy rat boosts pub sale price

Banksy's rat on the side of the Whitehouse pub in Liverpool
The rat has been confirmed as a genuine Banksy, the estate agents say

A gun-toting rat painted by urban artist Banksy could mean the price of a derelict pub in Liverpool will soar, estate agents say.

The Whitehouse pub is on the market for 495,000, but the 20ft-high rat - thought to be Banksy's biggest work of art - could see the pub sell for 1m.

Jonathan Owen, commercial sales director at Sutton Kersh, said it was a "unique opportunity" for Banksy fans.

He added that many enquires about the pub had been from art dealers.

Celebrity fans

The sale price includes the freehold of two three-storey Georgian buildings and a cleared site totalling about 7,967 sq ft, but not the value of the Banksy.

Mr Owen said: "The asking price is for a vacant city centre building and land... and does not include any added value that may be attributed to the authenticated Banksy artwork.

"We have received numerous enquiries from artists as a result of the painting. Banksy is internationally recognised and has numerous A-list celebrity followers.

"Now that the artwork on the Whitehouse pub has been authenticated as a genuine Banksy work we anticipate that this may generate offers significantly above the value of the buildings themselves."

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