NICK EICHER, HOST: I looked this up: a government report estimates that here in the United States graffiti costs nearly $20 billion per year to monitor, detect, remove, and repair. This form of vandalism is believed also to lower property values. That makes sense.
But here’s a story where a piece of graffiti dramatically increased a home’s value.
The graffiti artist Banksy painted graffiti art on the side of a home on a very steep street in the city of Bristol. Did it overnight. That’s what he does, and he’s world famous for doing it.
It depicts a woman sneezing. Thought to be a social comment on Covid. The woman sneezing powerfully. So powerfully that it appears the sneeze is blowing the neighbor’s homes down depending on your point of view. You can find photos online. It’s interesting to look at.
As it happens, the home had been for sale and was under contract for the equivalent of $400,000 but after Banksy put up his overnight mural and Banksy confirmed he did it, the woman pulled out of the contract because according to the U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail, the home is worth now at least 10 times the price. Probably more.
AUDIO: [SOUND OF DRILLING]
You can hear workers here installing a piece of plexiglass over the valuable defacing of the property to protect it from being defaced. Because now it’s worth millions.
It’s The World and Everything in It.