A man in Gaza who sold a Banksy painting for only $175, claims he was duped into selling the artwork. The mural of Niobe, mourning Greek goddess was painted on the door of his house that had been damaged after being hit by Israeli munitions in the Gaza war last year.
Rabie Dardouna, sold the door to a local artist Balal Kahled, for what he estimated the value of the doors metal to be - after Kahled offered him a very low price.
Banksy original paintings have been known to fetch hundreds of thousands of pounds. It seems that Dardouna was unaware of who had painted the mural on his wall or what it's true value was.
"I did not know that it was this valuable. I heard it can be sold for millions. Now I want the door back."
But is there a remedy for him under the law? Today at Unlock the Law we take a look at the law of striking a deal, and when you may be able to rescind from a bargain where you believe you were treated unfairly.
So, Banksy snuck into my garden and painted my garage door, my neighbour offered me £50 for the door and I thought it was a good deal. I have now realised the error of my ways. Can I make him give me it back under the law?
Unfortunately, the law does not like to get involved in circumstances where someone has simply failed to strike a good deal. Otherwise lawyers would be continually standing outside the Apple store handing out business cards.
The law operates under a concept known as 'buyer beware' which basically means that those getting involved in commercial transactions should ensure they carry out adequate research to ensure they are getting the best deal, or even a fair deal.
But he lied to me, he told me his teenage son did the painting and he was very sorry, and that he was only buying the door as a good will gesture and it was utterly worthless. I feel so betrayed.
This is one of the exceptions to the general rule. If someone lies to you, or bends the truth a little this is known as 'misrepresentation'.
According to Dardouna, Kahled said:
'we've painted seven paintings on seven doors and I bought all the doors except for yours and I paid 500 shekels for each'.
This is an implication from Kahled that he and some other did the paintings and thus there was no reason for Dardouna to believe that they were worth anything.
Kahled however denies this and says that he told Dardouna it was a Banksy painting but that it did not 'sink in'.
However, making a misrepresentation of law or fact under UK law, may allow either party to rescind the contract – meaning that the seller of the Banksy could get their painting back.
A misrepresentation must truly be a false statement of law or fact – rather than an opinion, or a guess about future. Each situation will be judged on its facts.
Once it has been established that a misrepresentation has been made, it must also be proven that this misrepresentation induced the party to enter into the contract. So, if you decide to buy or sell something purely or partially, because of a misrepresentation made during negotiations, you may have a remedy in law.
The remedy of rescission puts parties back in their pre-contractual position. This means that both sides give back the benefits they received under the contract.
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For more information, please read our online consumer law guides.
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