An iconic Banksy mural that was once a proud part of a London street has surfaced in a Miami auction.
The piece, which has been titled Slave Labour (Bunting Boy), first appeared in May 2012 on the wall of a Poundland shop in North London. However, it disappeared last week and is now being offered with an estimate of $500,000-700,000 in the sale, which is being held on February 23.
The auction has angered local residents, and councillor Alan Strickland is campaigning for the mural's return. He told the BBC: "Residents have been really shocked and really astonished. Banksy gave that piece of art to our community, and people came from all over London to see it."
Despite this controversy, the auction house has reportedly rejected suggestions that the sale is illegitimate, stating that a well-known collector consigned the piece. The local council is currently in the process of contacting the building's owners to ascertain whether they had in fact given permission for it to be removed.
This is not the only Banksy work to have been stolen, with a piece known as Sperm Alarm torn from a wall in London in April 2011 and almost sold on eBay shortly afterwards for £17,000 ($26,000). However the thief, who had previously been convicted of stealing art, was later tracked down by police.
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