The British Museum Acquires Their First Banksy Piece—But You Can’t See It

Tony C French/Getty Images

Well, it’s the first one they’ve intentionally accepted, anyway.

Back in 2005, ultra-mysterious street artist Banksy pulled a bit of a prank on the historic British Museum. The unidentified artist placed a fake “prehistoric rock” with a caveperson pushing a shopping cart and it stayed among the other permanent exhibits for a few days before someone noticed the intruder.

But now, the museum has intentionally accepted a piece from Banksy, donated by the artist themself. The only catch: Visitors won’t be able to see it. The work is one of thousands, a fake £10 banknote doctored to show Princess Diana’s face instead of the Queen’s with copy from the artist saying “Banksy of England” and “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the ultimate price,” according to Quartz.

https://twitter.com/guardian/status/1091371811613405184

Pest Control—the group tasked with managing and authenticating Banksy’s work—donated the currency to the British Museum, but they have no current plans to put it on display. Quartz theorizes that this is because the museum has so many pieces in its collection, that this particular one, like many others, is just being stored for a future exhibit. It makes total sense.

Lucky for anyone interested in seeing some of Banksy's work while visiting London, there are plenty of other murals and paintings housed around the city. Time Out has a great guide for spotting the elusive artist’s work in all neighborhoods around the city.