Banksy has become one of the world's foremost street artists. With a distinctive style and often political subject matter his works have been recreated over and over on posters, cards and prints. The real deal, in contrast, is something that you can only get once, and selling a piece seems almost impossible given that they're painted on public structures, from walls to bridges. However, one original Banksy work titled 'Slave Labour' managed to be removed from the wall of a Poundland in Haringey, London and shipped to Miami where it was set to be sold. Since protests were made by local constituents of Haringey, at the 11th hour the sale has been stopped.
As the Guardian reports, the painting of a boy making bunting (a critique on last year's Diamond Jubilee) was set to make around $700,000 (£460,000). Frederic Thut, the owner of the Fine Arts Auction Miami art house, admitted yesterday that two Banksy works, including Slave Labour had been removed from the auctions listings, but gave no reason for this.
"One of our two demands was that it doesn't sell and the other was that we get it back again, so we're halfway there," said Alan Strickland, a Haringey councillor who has been working to stop the sale taking place. "I will be writing to the auction house as a matter of urgency to clarify what happened and what will happen next, but for now we are really pleased that because of the pressure and the strong views of the people of Wood Green, a community campaign in London has had an impact in the US. It's a real victory for the people."