Banksy's No Ball Games to lead controversial sale with $1.6m estimate

Banksy's iconic No Ball Games is to lead the Sincura Group's "Stealing Banksy?" auction in London on April 27 with an estimate in excess of £1m ($1.6m).

The controversial sale features some of the street artist's most iconic works, which have been taken from their original locations.

Banksy No Ball Games
Banksy's No Ball Games has been removed from its original location and restored

No Ball Games originally appeared on a wall in the London district of Tottenham in 2009 and shows two children playing catch with a sign.

Proceeds from the sale of the work are to be donated to charity, although, as is often the case with the removal of Banksy artworks, many local residents are angry the piece was taken.

However, the Sincura Group comments that the owners of properties that feature artwork by Banksy "run the very real risk of having a grade 2 listing applied to their premises which seriously affects their business operations and resale value.

"Both Scotland Yard and the FBI have issued statements that there is no evidence of criminality involved in the removal or sales of our pieces," the company adds.

Old Skool is valued at £750,000 ($1.2m).

The piece was painted on the side of a garage in east London in 2006. It disappeared in 2008, replaced by a line marking out the edges and the word "collected", but has resurfaced at the auction.  

The Liverpool Rat, another iconic work, is estimated at £225,000 ($378,315).

It was painted on the city's White Horse pub in 2004 but, due in part to the ailing health of the building, was removed in 2013 and extensively renovated.

The works will be available to view from April 24-27 and will open with a press conference held by staff in masks.

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