Property investor Shaf Rasul may have just secured the biggest free asset in his career – and without knowing too much about it.
Millionaire Mr Rasul believes an illustration which has appeared on one of his buildings is another in the series Girl with Balloon by the street artist Banksy and could be worth a six figure sum.
Since sending out an alert on his LinkedIn page he’s been approached by interested buyers keen to take the building in Stirling – occupied by Pure Gym – off his hands.
He’s now asked property agent Mark Gillies at Graham and Sibbald to consider selling the property, though h’s also taking steps to check out if the artwork, revealed just ahead of Valentine’s Day and featuring a heart-shaped balloon, is the real deal and says he’s thinking of having it protected by a screen.
Mr Rasul (pictured), who appears on the online version of Dragons’ Den, and writes a column in The Sun, said on his LinkedIn page: “WooHoo!!! I’ve got a Banksy. A pal of mine knew that SRA Ventures Ltd own the building which is occupied by the Pure Gym in Stirling.
“He messaged me to let me know that there was a Banksy or “Banksy style” art recently painted on the side of the building. I went to have a look.
“Assuming it’s genuine I wonder what that will do to the investment value of the building?
“Had a couple of calls this morning asking if I would sell the investment. Suppose its a good as its a stable income producing investment with phenomenal upside if that is a genuine Banksy!
Mr Gillies responded: “Assuming it’s Banksy, I’d be getting some expert to recover it and get it to Sotheby’s ASAP!”
It is the second piece of street art thought to be by Banksy that has appeared in Scotland in the past few weeks.
A painting of a young girl clutching a mobile phone was seen in Grindlay Court, Edinburgh, last month and was said to resemble the famous Girl with Balloon.
Banksy artworks fetch thousands of pounds at auction. A recent artwork that appeared on a garage in Wales before Christmas was sold privately for more than £100,000.
The first Girl with Balloon, a stencilled mural, appeared in 2002 in London. The first work was on Waterloo Bridge, and other murals were drawn around the city, though none remain there.