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London gallery sells 'shares' of Banksy's work

A new art gallery in London is giving art lovers the chance to own shares of their favorite pieces of artwork — including pieces by Banksy.

The BBC reports the gallery, called My Art Invest, is selling 1,000 shares of just one Banksy painting with the price of about $200 per share. The more shares you buy, the larger the chunk you end up owning.

The smallest shares are available for a little more than $8 each. The London Evening Standard points out customers can keep track of their shares through an online art stock exchange.

Here's what's really crazy: if you wound up buying one quarter of the shares of any given painting in the gallery, you'd be able to take the painting home with you and hang it up inside for one quarter of a year. (Via My Art Invest)

This unconventional way of selling art has plenty of critics wondering how effective it really is.

A writer for The Art Newspaper says: "Attempts to divide works of art into equal shares, emulating companies that trade on a stock exchange, have proved problematic, at best." But the paper points out the business model from the gallery's founder worked well in France — with more than 200 paintings sold.

According to Forbes, it's also unclear what would happen to the business if there were shares that were left unpurchased.

The founder of My Art Invest told the London Evening Standard he would also like to open galleries in cities like New York, Miami and Shanghai.

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