Banksy’s The Wharf Rat to be auctioned off as a hybrid NFT

By Raffaele Redi

The artwork is estimated to be worth over $700,000

Artist Banksy’s The Wharf Rat                                 
Banksy’s The Wharf Rat appeared in 2010 on San Francisco’s PIER 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf – Photo:

Banksy’s The Wharf Rat, thought to be lost, will be auctioned off as a hybrid NFT after being recovered and restored. The metal door on which the street artist depicted a rat – estimated to be worth over $700,000 – will be sold alongside a one-of-one NFT.

The hybrid NFT is powered by a bespoke ‘Legal by Design’ smart contract from TokenArt, binding the physical piece to its digital twin in law.

According to the platform, the one-of-one token encloses the official appraisal documents and provenance, a unique video shot in the preview, the historical details and bits of hidden knowledge surrounding the piece, as well as a 3D Lidar High Resolution scan of the piece.

The auction, scheduled on 17 December, will be followed by a sale of 333 fragment NFTs of the Virtual Wharf Rat Door and an open edition NFTs day aimed at forming a Banksy’s Wharf Rat DAO.

The NFT will be released in partnership with Cosmic Wire platform, which recently sold Banksy’s Spy Booth as a hybrid NFT for $610,000.

The NFT series

Once the one-of-one auction closes, a public sale of collectible fragment NFTs of the virtual door will be put up for sale.

According to the platform, there will be a total of 333 Wharf Rat fragment NFTs up for grabs at a price of 0.33ETH, each with a limit of 4 NFTs per collector.

“The NFT will reveal an interactive 3D fragment of the Wharf Rat virtual door. Each fragment NFT will grant one voting right over the future uses of the unique NFT of the virtual door, effectively forming a DAO around the legacy of the piece,” the platform explained.

Moreover, when the fragments are sold out, or 24 hours after the public sale starts, an open edition of NFTs featuring a 360 video of the Wharf Rat virtual door will go up for sale.

The open edition will be available to purchase for 24 hours at a price of 0.033ETH each. Once the timer hits 24 hours, the total minted supply will be the final number of collectibles in existence.

Some 20% of the project’s funds will be donated to the Centre for the Pacific Asian Family, a charity committed to ending domestic and sexual violence in Asian Pacific islander communities, and Miry’s List, a movement of neighbours and friends dedicated to welcoming new arrival refugee families in the US.

The Wharf Rat story

Banksy’s The Wharf Rat appeared in 2010 on San Francisco’s PIER 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf.

The artwork was painted on a metal door and depicted a rat digging its way out of a tunnel, right next to the Alcatraz Boat Tour station just across the water from the infamous prison island.

However, the City of San Francisco Department of Public Works painted over the door, and it was thought to have been destroyed and lost forever.  

After a Banksy fan recovered the piece, it was entrusted to professional restoration facilities, where art experts were able to uncover the original piece using the most cutting-edge restoration techniques.

The NFT sale platform said: “The lost masterpiece has been saved from destruction and will now become NFTs, enter the Blockchain where it shall embody the will to freedom forever, displaying the crypto community’s core values of independence, resourcefulness, and persistence.”

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