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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.

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'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.

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The London Underground gets a face-lift

In the largest ever commission of its kind, Mark Wallinger today unveils Labyrinth, 270 unique works, one for each of the 270 stations on the London Underground network.

The design that will be on display at Westminster Station
The design that will be on display at Westminster Station Credit: TfL

The commission, from Art on the Underground, is one of the highlights of a series of special events and commissions in 2013 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground

The design that will be on display at ST Jame's Park
The design that will be on display at ST Jame's Park Credit: TfL
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