Banksy withdrawn from auction

A Banksy mural which was taken from a wall in Wood Green and had been at the centre of a controversial auction was withdrawn from sale at the 11th hour.

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Unknown future of Banksy mural

Wood Green councillor Alan Strickland, who has been campaigning for the return of the mural, said the news was a 'wonderful surprise for the community'. It's unknown at this stage whether the mural will be returned to the area.

In the meantime, new artwork has appeared on the side of the Poundland store in Wood Green.

Banksy mural withdrawn from sale

A Banksy mural at the centre of a controversial auction was withdrawn from sale at the 11th hour.

Slave Labour, which shows a young boy hunched over a sewing machine making Union Jack bunting, appeared on a wall in Wood Green, north London, last May, just before the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

It disappeared from the side of the Poundland store last weekend and was due to be auctioned thousands of miles away in Miami last night, where it was expected to sell for up to £450,000.

But a spokesman for auction house Fine Art Auctions Miami (FAAM) confirmed that Slave Labour and Wet Dog, a second Banksy painting listed, had been withdrawn from sale. No reason was given.

"It's a true credit to the community that their campaigning appears to have helped to stop the sale of this artwork from going ahead.

We will continue to explore all options to bring back Banksy to the community where it belongs."

– Claire Kober, Leader of Haringey Council

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Mural by Banksy due to be auctioned

Banksy mural 'Slave Labour' was removed from a wall in Wood Green. Credit: PA

A mural by the grafitti artist Banksy is due to be auctioned in Miami today.

The artwork was controversially removed from a wall in Wood Green, North London.The auctioneer has defended the sale saying he wouldn't be staging the half-a-million dollar auction if it was illegal.

'Banksy' auctioneer defends sale of mural

A Miami auctioneer has defended the sale tomorrow of a mural by the grafitti artist Banksy, which was controversially removed from a wall in North London.

He says it belongs to the owner of the wall and he wouldn't be staging the half-a-million dollar sale if it was illegal.

As Ria Chatterjee reports, a new image has now taken the mural's place in Wood Green.

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'Banksy' auctioneer: Brits think they own this artwork

Auctioneer Frederic Thut, who will auction the 'Banksy' on Saturday (February 23) insists that the artwork was acquired legally from the owner of the wall - but that local laws prevent him from revealing their identity.

He has accused local people of assuming moral ownership of something that is not theirs.

The owner of the wall, on which the artwork was stenciled, remains a mystery to local people in Wood Green.

Retailer Poundland, which occupies the building, is only a leaseholder. They say they do not condone the removal of the painting.

Councillor Alan Strickland says that locals see it as an act of theft:

"The feeling in the community here very strongly is that this is piece of art given freely by Banksy to our community. It belongs to our community, and we've really enjoyed having it here.

"It seems quite wrong to take that out secretively and sell it at auction in Miami for half a million dollars. That seems completely counter to the spirit with which Banksy gave it to us," he said.

'Banksy' considered a highlight of Miami auction

Fine Art Auctions Miami, the company that is set to sell the 'Banksy' artwork, is promoting the stencil as a highlight of tomorrow's auction.

They have put it on the front cover of the catalogue and on the home page of their website.

It is estimated that the work will fetch between $500,000 and $700,000.

The 'Banksy' is considered a highlight of the auction of modern, contemporary and street art. Credit: Reuters.
The artwork has pride of place on the home page of the Fine Art Auctions Miami website. Credit: FAAM
The auctioneers predict a sale price of up to $700,000. Credit: Reuters.

Auctioneer on 'stolen' Banksy

We have been contacted by some authorities, and we asked them to give us the proof that this work is illegal to sell. As soon as they do that, we will not sell it because we do not have the right to sell illegally. We are a legal company, and we are proving our responsibility as much as we can. We will not sell this work if there is any legal problem with it. As of today, we didn't get any news about that.

– Frederic Thut, Auctioneer at Fine Art Auctions Miami
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