Looking for a new work of art to adorn your home? If you are happy to part with a cool $1.2 billion, Used Car Part From Afghanistan could be yours.
Australian artist Van Thanh Rudd's work, on display at Off The Kerb gallery in Melbourne, is entering uncharted territory with his asking price.
Rudd claims the work contains a small piece of an Afghan civilian car, destroyed by an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) missile in southern Afghanistan.
"All art must be priced and the price paid by victims of war is astronomical. So my price tag should reflect this," he said.
"I know it's beyond reason to put $1.2 billion on this object, but everything out there in the global market place is extremely devoid of reason. The global recession is showing us this."
Rudd says while he has not been approached by anyone willing to fork out $1.2 billion for the work, it has generated a lot of interest.
"[I've had] no prospective buyers so far, but just general commentary as to whether it's a genuine article, where it's come from and how it came here, that sort of thing," he told ABC News Online.
But he would not say how he came to be in possession of the piece.
"That's just the mystery part of the artwork. I can't reveal any more," he said.
He says he has not been to Afghanistan himself.
Rudd says he examined the pricing strategies of the elite auction houses, Christies and Sothebys, but decided his work should be priced more realistically.
He says instead of pricing which is based on an artist's profile, he decided to ask for a figure which he thought reflected the art work's message.
Cost of war
Rudd says his pricing analysis included a breakdown of the multi-trillion dollar US war budget in the Middle East since 2001, and other variables such as the cost of civilians and soldiers wounded.
Once he came up with the figure, he instructed the gallery director to put it in the catalogue.
Off The Kerb's director Shini Pararajasingham says the work is probably uninsurable.
Damien Hirst's Beautiful Inside My Head Forever set the record for the most expensive single artist auction - going for $203 million in 2008.
If Rudd's Used Car Part sold it would eclipse this figure - although Rudd admits a sale is unlikely.
"Christies and Sothebys would no doubt argue that my piece is unsellable," he said.
"This is totally the point."
Rudd is not a stranger to controversy. The artist, who is the nephew of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, is known for his left leaning political views.
Last year his painting, depicting Ronald MacDonald carrying an Olympic torch past burning monk Thich Quang Duc, was at the centre of controversy when it was banned by the Melbourne City Council from being shown at an exhibition.
Rudd says Used Car Part From Afghanistan will probably become part of a larger collection he is working on that will have similar price tags.
"They'll be, in terms of the formal aspect, they'll be presented in a similar way - museum sort of style and very minimal," he said.
"I guess it'll be a work in progress in which objects that are displayed do have a mystery narrative or mystery background."
Rudd says he does not know what he would do if someone actually wanted to buy the work.
"To be honest I haven't thought that far ahead. It's almost out of the question," he said.
"But hopefully what comes across is just the actual point of it being so