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Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Should Liverpool Chinatown Banksy artwork be saved?
Banksy rat
The giant rat is painted on the side of the Berry Street building

The building hosting Liverpool's most famous example of a Banksy artwork has been auctioned for £114,000.

The old Whitehouse public house on the corner of Duke Street and Berry Street had a guide price of around £80,000.

The presence of a Banksy work, a giant rat holding a marker pen, was rumoured to have increased interest in the site.

The new owners say they hope to develop the Grade II listed building into flats they say it's too early to know if the artwork will be retained.

Passers by on Berry Street were sceptical about whether the building should keep the Banksy mural.

"I think it's very scruffy, it brings down the whole tone of the neighbourhood," David Kennedy told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"I quite like the good artwork, but it's scruffy as well."

Howard Curtis also agreed that the building was an eyesore, "It's pretty awful really, what's left of it.

"I think it's unfortunate when some of the area round about has been renovated and you've got a place like this which is such an eyesore.

"I don't mind the art, that is attractive in its own way."

Auction interest

The work, close to Liverpool's Chinese arch, appeared during the 2004 Liverpool biennial.

The auction at Liverpool's Marriot Hotel on Thursday, 18 February, 2010 has already attracted interest because of the Banksy work.

In April 2007, a Banksy work Space Girl & Bird sold at auction for £288,000, while in 2009 a 12 week exhibition of his work in Bristol received over 300,000 visitors.

The Whitehouse building's Grade II listing means that any proposal to change the exterior will have to get planning consent.

"I've loved coming to Liverpool in the last couple of years because of all the regeneration and it's just really showcased the city, and it is beautiful," passerby Rosemary Swirdlow told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"So if we could make something of this and really showcase it, but also really restore the building so it doesn't look so dated.

"Maybe Banksy could come back and restore the painting."




SEE ALSO
Banksy rat boosts pub sale price
31 Oct 08 |  Arts & Culture
Banksy artwork to stay uncovered
05 Mar 08 |  Merseyside
Rat mural pub is 'beyond repair'
08 Jan 08 |  Merseyside

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