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Secret identities are pretty valuable. Street-artist Banksy knows that pretty well, having never revealed his (or her) own.

But not all things can stay secret in the age of the internet. An intrepid seller on eBay is offering the identity of the anonymous artist for a cool $1 million.

Banksy is the pseudonym for a British street artist known for painting traditionally satirical and black humor paintings on the walls of buildings across the world. The artwork relies on a stencil-like style and has become a bit of a cult phenomenon, even spurring the creators of the Simpsons to commission an opening couch gag from the eccentric artist.

But Banksy’s identity has never been revealed. Even when creating the couch gag episode, the Simpsons creators went through a series of representatives for the artist and never had direct contact with him (or her). That’s actually been part of the appeal of the enigmatic artist — that, and Banksy’s contempt for auctioneers that try to sell his art for profit.

The eBay seller, Jaybuysthings, claims he has confirmed Banksy’s identity by matching the price he sold his artwork for with some tax records. That’s a pretty crafty way to go about doing it, although the seller didn’t give any additional details about how he came by the tax information.

Regardless of the validity of the claim, it’s already attracted 38 bids and the price has gone all the way up to a cool $999,999.00. The auction started just last week and ends on Wednesday. The winner will receive a piece of paper that will have the name of Banksy on it — because eBay originally wouldn’t let Jaybuysthings sell something that wasn’t a physical object.

The seller has a 100 percent positive feedback rating, but then again, he only has 9 reviews in the past 12 months. Mad props to Jaybuysthings if the sale actually goes through without a hitch — that’s quite a way to generate a cool $1 million for some extra work.

To the rest of the Internet (especially those bidding on the identity) — seriously? The identity of Banksy is probably worth that much, but eBay doesn’t seem like the most productive way to go about discovering it.

At least Jaybuysthings is offering free shipping.

[Photo: Leeks]

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