When a world famous artist like Banksy asks to paint a mural on your wall you don’t turn him down – even if you don’t know who he is.
And that decision is now set to land the former owner of a Hollywood petrol station a floral-themed fortune.
But Eytan Rosenberg has revealed he almost lost the stencilled street art after ordering an employee to paint over it a few days after its appearance.
Not knowing who he was, Mr Rosenberg hurriedly gave Banksy permission to paint the 9x8ft Flower Girl – which depicts a young girl with a basket of flowers and a security camera perched over her like a vulture – when the street artist approached him at work in 2008.
A few days later a worker told him a wall had been tagged with graffiti so he told him to paint over it… before later recalling his encounter with the infamous and mysterious Bristolian.
Mr Rosenberg said: “I called him back and said, ‘Don’t touch it! It almost got painted over.”
When he sold the garage last year Mr Rosenberg – now clued up on Banksy’s identity - had Flower Girl removed and framed.
It is now being sold at auction in Beverly Hills, expected to fetch up to £184,000.
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