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The hazy line between art, vandalism and commerce




This undated publicity photo released by Julien's Auctions shows the Banksy graffiti mural entitled,
This undated publicity photo released by Julien's Auctions shows the Banksy graffiti mural entitled, "Flower Girl," which formerly occupied a gas station in Los Angeles. The mural headlines Julien’s Auctions “Street Art” auction to take place Thursday, December 5, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
AP Photo/Julien's Auctions

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A mural once stenciled on the wall of a Hollywood gas station recently sold for more than $200,000.

The piece, known as Flower Girl, was stealthily created five years ago by the world-famous street artist Banksy. The sale sparks big questions about the nature of art, vandalism and commerce, and the ways in which they're intertwined.

Art critic Ben Lerner explores these ideas in the current issue of Harpers Magazine as he profiles the world of art vandals who physically attack, shoot, kick and kiss expensive works of art.