ARTS & CULTURE

Melbourne Hotel Challenges Visitors To Steal A Banksy

12/07/2011 09:27 pm ET | Updated Dec 08, 2011

Most hotels will charge you an arm and a leg if you slip off the premises with one of their cheap, fuzzy robes, so why are they offering a Banksy work worth $15,000 to anyone who can sneak off with it?

As part of a promotion, Art Series Hotels, a hotel group which adorns their walls with fine art, is hiding Banksy's 'No Ball Games' in one of its hotels. If you can find it and steal it, it is yours.

Banksy originally drew two children playing around the sign that read 'No Ball Games,' in 2007 the piece was removed from the wall with an angle grinder. The wall was later found on eBay for around $31,000.

This challenge, though definitely unorthodox, is somewhat appropriate, given Melbourne's feisty art history. Picasso's 'Weeping Woman' was stolen in 1986 and later discovered in a locker at Spencer Street Station. Banksy is no stranger to the mischievous himself, having snuck his artworks into more traditional galleries.

The challenge lasts from December 15 until January 15 and is open to anyone staying in one of the hotels. Again, if you get away with it, you get to keep the Banksy. But, hey, be careful with those angle grinders!

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that the challenge would run until December 15. In fact the challenge begins on December 15.

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