So Banksy has visited your property. Now what? While some property owners try to turn a profit from the street artist's murals, others have carried the intense and costly responsibility of protecting them.

So your property has been 'Banksy-ed.' Now what?

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The British street artist known as Banksy recently made headlines with his latest piece, a tree mural painted on the side of a vacant building in North London. The mural renewed a conversation about who owns street art, and it got reporter Rebecca Rosman thinking about the dozens of people whose private property has been, quote, "Banksy'd," and what happens next.

DENNIS STINCHCOMBE: So that's exactly where it was. OK?

REBECCA ROSMAN, BYLINE: So you've been Banksy'd. Now what? That's the predicament Dennis Stinchcombe found himself in about 11 years ago after a strange piece of art appeared on a wall outside of Broad Plain, a youth center he runs on the outskirts of Bristol.

STINCHCOMBE: He arrived on a Sunday morning at 8:31 on the dot. He left at 9:31 on the dot after completing it. So that's a pretty good hourly rate.

ROSMAN: The piece was called "Mobile Lovers." It showed a couple in an embrace looking over each other's shoulders, eyes gazed not on each other, but rather their respective smartphones. Within 24 hours, Banksy, who attended Broad Plain as a kid, claimed responsibility for the piece on his Instagram account. But it would take a bit of time for Stinchcombe to realize not just how valuable this piece was, but the intense and costly responsibility he now had to protect it.

STINCHCOMBE: So I got one of my parents to come down. We'd guard it all day long.

ROSMAN: It was eventually sold to a private collector for around $700,000, and the proceeds were given back to the center. But the sale was only made possible thanks to a rare letter of authentication Banksy drew up for Stinchcombe. In every other case...

STEVEN LAZARIDES: You won't authenticate anything that's from the street.

ROSMAN: This is Steven Lazarides, or Laz, who got his start in the art world as Banksy's official photographer back in the late '90s. He says, without an official authentication from Banksy himself, most art galleries and collectors wouldn't think of touching a Banksy.

LAZARIDES: Then it becomes a - someone's trying to sell it as an artwork when it was never meant as an artwork. It was because of graffiti. There's a difference between what they do on the street and what they do, like, in the studio.

ROSMAN: But that's not enough to stop people from thinking about turning a profit. Julian Usher runs the Red Eight art gallery in East London. Last year on Valentine's Day, he got a call from a couple in the British seaside town of Margate.

JULIAN USHER: There's a lady on the phone who said, I think I've got a Banksy on my wall. I'm not sure.

ROSMAN: This piece was called "Valentine's Mascara." It depicted a 1950s housewife with a black eye shutting her husband into a refrigerator. It appears to highlight domestic violence. Usher sent a team of excavators to help dismantle the piece from the property and had it sent up to London. It's currently on display at the Yamaha store in Soho while Usher tries to find a buyer.

USHER: What's important is, from my perspective, is to keep art work alive, is to restore the artwork. Yes, we can earn some money out of it, but that's not the overall goal.

ROSMAN: Believes, once sold, the piece could make up to $3.7 million. The majority of proceeds will go back to the owner, with a cut taken from Usher's gallery. He also says a six-figure sum will be given to a local charity that works with victims of domestic violence. I ask Usher how he feels about the fact that what he's doing remains controversial in the art world - that is, taking street art off the street and making money off of it - to which he says, he's just trying to help the property owners that get caught up in all this mess, and that there's not enough scrutiny against Banksy for defacing people's property.

USHER: He's really the richest vandal that is on the planet. You know, he dumps this onto someone's house or property.

ROSMAN: Because of his secrecy, we don't actually know how much Banksy's worth, though some of his works have been sold at auction for millions. Usher says he's just trying to help, and that Banksy's unwillingness to draw up certificates of authentication is what's responsible for creating this gray market.

STINCHCOMBE: If it wasn't for Banksy, we would have closed 10 years ago.

ROSMAN: Back with Dennis Stinchcombe at the Broad Plain Youth Center in Bristol, he tells me, even with the headaches, the Banksy saga is one of the greatest things that ever happened to Broad Plain. And he says, if Banksy wants to put up another piece on the side of Broad Plain, he's ready to go through this adventure all over again. For NPR News, I'm Rebecca Rosman in Bristol.

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