Banksy's Kissing Coppers mural hammers for $575,000 in Miami

Kissing Coppers, a work by street artist Banksy, sold for $575,000 at Fine Art Auctions Miami on February 18.

The piece was painted on the side of the Prince Albert pub in Brighton, UK in 2004 and has since become one of the artist's most recognisable works.

Banksy Kissing Coppers Miami
Banksy's Kissing Coppers headlined the street art sale in Miami

It was removed from the wall and transferred to canvas in 2011 after repeat incidents of vandalism. It sold to a US gallery for an undisclosed sum. The original wall was later replaced with a replica.

This is not the first time Banksy's work has been taken from its original location to be sold at auction. Recent sales have included his Flower Girl mural, which sold for $204,000 at Julien's Auctions.

Original Banksy works on canvas also achieve significant sums, with his Monkey Detonator realising $213,000 at Bonhams New York in 2013.

There has been criticism in some quarters of the commercialisation of street art, and Banksy in particular, with some arguing the work loses its purpose when removed from its original context.

Lindsay Alkin, director of the Art Republic gallery in Brighton, told the Guardian when Kissing Coppers was first removed in 2011: "What he does on the street should stay on the street. It is part of Brighton's culture, like an outside gallery, and now that is lost."

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