For £120, members of the public can own a share of the mural which depicts an abused 1950s housewife throwing a man into a freezer.
The artwork has been valued at £6 million, and 27,000 shares were made available.
Julian Usher, chief executive of Red Eight Gallery, which represented the original owner, said: “The fact that it will be accessible for people to actually own a share in is wonderful, and it also means the mural can now make Margate its official home.”
Banksy has not given an in-person interview since 2003 and has never revealed his true identity, but many theories have swirled over the years about who he could possibly be. In the 2003 television interview, a male Bristolian youth assumed to be Banksy is wearing a jumper to disguise his face.
Why does Banksy keep his identity a secret?
Banksy has continually refused to reveal his identity.
He says this is to prevent incriminating himself, because of the illegal nature of graffiti.
Some art critics, however, argue that his anonymity is part of a clever marketing tool.
What are the top theories about Banksy’s real identity?
Banksy’s identity remains unknown, although people have spent years trying to uncover him.
Here are some of the most popular theories about who he really is.
Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja
This is one of the most popular theories — of course, it would be fun if Banksy was someone we already know.
Massive Attack musician Robert Del Naja is also a graffiti artist and spent years in Bristol, which strengthens the claim as this is where Banksy is from.
Fans believed they’d finally cracked the puzzle when DJ Goldie supposedly let Banksy’s name slip on Scroobius Pip’s podcast. While discussing Banksy, Goldie said: “No disrespect to Rob, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.”
Theorists have managed to match up Massive Attack tour dates with the appearance of new murals, while both Banksy and Del Naja have cited each other as inspirations. But Del Naja has denied being Banksy and the “Rob”mentioned by Goldie has also been claimed to refer to Robin Gunningham — another potential candidate.
Bristol-born Robin Gunningham being Banksy is the strongest rumour. Born in 1973, a few miles from Bristol, some former schoolmates say Gunningham is the mysterious artist.
Criminologists at Queen Mary University of London even used geographic profiling to supposedly identify the street artist in 2016. The technique is usually used to find repeat offenders, but the researchers analysed 140 artworks in London and Bristol attributed to the artist to make their conclusions.
Gorillaz founder Jamie Hewlett
Another famous face to get caught up in the speculation is Jamie Hewlett, comic artist and founder of the English virtual band Gorillaz. An anonymous forensic expert last year reportedly obtained data that showed the name J Hewlett associated with every company connected with the artist.
Adding fuel to the fire, Banksy’s gorilla artwork was used in the band’s music video for Tomorrow Comes Today. However, Banksy’s publicist denied the claims.
Thierry Guetta — aka Mr Brainwash
Banksy’s 2010 documentary Exist Through the Gift Shop tells the story of Thierry Guetta, aka Mr Brainwash, a street artist in Los Angeles who runs a vintage clothing shop and obsesses over filming his surroundings. Guetta subsequently rose to fame and rumours began to spread that he was, in fact, Banksy himself, and that the documentary was a hoax. These theories have been expressly contradicted by many sources.
An unnamed woman leading a group
Most assumptions have been that Banksy is one man, but there have been theories that Banksy is actually a woman in charge of a group of artists.
Canadian artist Chris Healey puts forward this argument in the documentary Banksy Does New York. He says that Banksy is the blonde woman who appears in studio scenes in Exit Through the Gift Shop. Healey refuses to reveal his source, but maintains this stance.
Richard Pfeiffer was simply in the wrong (or right?) place at the wrong time. The Brooklyn freelance engineer and artist and his girlfriend were in 2014 admiring one of Banksy’s works in Manhattan when he was arrested and accused of drawing the image.
He had a pen in his pocket at the time but he was able to prove it was not the same one that drew the graffiti and the charges were dropped six months later.