An original Banksy mural created last year for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which was torn off a north London wall has mysteriously re-emerged across the Atlantic at a US auction. The artwork is listed for sale at half a million dollars.
London-based street artist Banksy has become one of the most desired artists among contemporary art collectors. One of his latest street works, a mural featuring a young boy making Union Jack bunting with a sewing machine, disappeared from a London street last week, the BBC reports.
By a strange coincidence the mural is now being offered for sale at a Miami auction. The work is estimated at between $500,000 and $700,000.
According to Councillor Alan Strickland the disappearance of the Banksy mural enraged local residents and officials.
"Residents have been really shocked and really astonished," he told the BBC. "Banksy gave that piece of art to our community, and people … are disappointed that a piece of art that was given freely has been taken away from them and sold for an enormous profit".
He said London intends to launch a campaign to return it back to the UK.
According to the Miami auction house, which rejects claims that the piece was stolen, the mural came from a "well-known collector". The man reportedly signed all necessary documentation stating "everything was above board".
Professor Paul Gough, an academic who studies street art, said it was likely to be a genuine Banksy, who works under a veil of anonymity, and rarely takes credit for his art.
A Poundland shop rented the building that was adorned by the Banksy piece. They denied any responsibility for the artwork’s disappearance, adding they are “fans of Banksy”.
The owners of the building are currently being traced to establish whether the piece was taken off the wall legitimately.
This is not the first theft of a Banksy work. In 2010 two of his works were stolen from a London art gallery. Another piece was ripped off the wall of a hotel in Central London, sold on eBay and never recovered.
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