Pest Control Office
Pest Control Office is the only official body that can authenticate a genuine artwork by Banksy.
Pest Control Office was set up in 2009 and is run by Banksy himself. It continues his desire to keep at arms-length from the traditional gallery system. It also, very occasionally, has works to sell; you can sign up for an email list to be contacted about such news. No other body has the authority to authenticate Banksy’s works, although from time to time there are attempts to establish dealer-led independent verification bodies, none of them have achieved any true staying power.
Through its work, Pest Control Office guarantees the authenticity of artworks which allows the market to grow and collectors to purchase.
Pest Control Office only certifies artworks that were produced for commercial sale, mostly the editions of silkscreen prints and original artworks that were created for commercial sale by the artist.
Street art pieces made on walls, doors, or any other medium will most probably not get a certificate (with a few occasional exceptions). Pest Control Office does not authenticate gift prints created by the artist and meant as a gift, for example to thank his team for large projects such as Dismaland or the exhibit at The Bristol Museum.
One should not purchase any artwork without its standing Certificate of Authenticity (COA) issued by Pest Control Office (PCO) unless there is clear documentation about the provenance and a case has already been submitted to Pest Control Office.
Keeping It Real
If you have agreed to purchase a Banksy artwork, and in case of any doubt, you can also submit the details to Pest Control Office and they will check against the database to make sure the work is authentic.
This is a serious process that will engage and protect both buyer and seller. But this is a service available only if the work already has a PCO COA.
If the artwork doesn’t have a COA then the owner needs to submit an authentication request.
“Pest Control is the only body authorized to authenticate Banksy’s art.
We do this to prevent confusion, fraud and misattribution.”
How does the authentication process work?
Banksy Doesn’t Do Merchandise
Copyright and Use of Images
Anybody is free to use Banksy’s images for non-commercial and personal amusement.
“Print them out in a color that matches your curtains, make a card for your gran, submit them as your own homework, whatever.”
But neither Banksy nor Pest Control Office license the artist’s images to third parties. Nobody can use Banksy’s images for any commercial purpose, including launching a range of merchandise or tricking people into thinking something is made or endorsed by the artist when it isn’t.
“Saying Banksy wrote ‘copyright is for losers’ in his book
doesn’t give you free rein
to misrepresent the artist
and commit fraud.