A mural by graffiti artist Banksy, that was removed from a London wall in mysterious circumstances last week, has been withdrawn from an auction in the United States.
“Slave Labour”, a work satirising Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, disappeared from the side of a supermarket in London’s Haringey last weekend and was put up for sale days later.
Fine Art Auctions of Miami had been featuring the work on its website, advertising an evening sale on February 23. It had been valued at up to 500,000 euros.
The Haringey council led a campaign to have “Slave Labour” returned, while local residents also protested on the streets to get it back.
“For us it raises some fundamental points about who’s responsible for street art and who morally owns it. And the community owns it and they feel that and that’s why they’re here today,” one Haringey resident explained.
Graffiti, including a stencil of rat with a placard asking “why?”, has already appeared in the space left behind by the absence of “Slave Labour” – sparking speculation that Banksy might be having his say once again.