Banksy mural removed from Miami auction
A BANKSY mural at the centre of a controversial auction was withdrawn from sale at the 11th hour.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 on Saturday 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house Fine Art Auctions Miami (FAAM) confirmed that Slave Labour and Wet Dog, a second Banksy painting listed, had been withdrawn from sale.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.
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Claire Kober, Leader of Haringey Council, which campaigned for the artwork's return to the UK, said: "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."
An FAAM spokesman said: "Although there are no legal issues whatsoever regarding the sale of lots six and seven by Banksy, FAAM convinced its consignors to withdraw these lots from the auction and take back the power of authority of these works."