The mysterious case of the missing Banksy

Tuesday 19 Feb 2013 10:07 a.m.

By 3 News online staff

A well-known mural by British street artist Banksy has been taken from a wall in London and is now for sale online.

‘Slave Labour’ mysteriously went missing last week, and is now for sale online for half a million New Zealand dollars.

The work, which shows a child sewing Union Jack bunting, was stencilled onto the side of a shop in Wood Green in May last year. It was behind a protective Perspex screen when it was somehow removed from the wall.

It’s unclear who took the mural and the auction house, Fine Art Auctions Miami, will only say that it is being sold by a “well-known” collector.

Wood Green councillor Alan Strickland is furious the painting has been stolen.

“We were really proud to have a Banksy in our neighbourhood, so residents were shocked to realise it had been ripped out of the wall,” he told the Daily Mail.

“'The community feels that this art was given to us for free, and it's now been taken away to be sold for huge profit. I'm very angry about the Banksy going - we want our Banksy back!”

In line with the political bent of much of Banksy’s art, it’s thought ‘Slave Labour’ is a statement against sweatshops that allegedly produced screeds of decorations and memorabilia for last year’s Golden Jubilee and London Olympics.

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