The Haringey MP Lynne Featherstone has failed in her attempts to get to the bottom of the missing Banksy mural titled ‘Slave Labour’,stolen from a wall in her constituency. After meeting with The building’s owner, directors of Wood Green Investments, Robert Davies and Les Gilbert she was told that, “The mural had been stolen by a thief but they would not be reporting it to the police”. (source Ham&High) The ‘Poundland’ Banksy mural nicknamed after the down market shop where it appeared, around the time of the Diamond Jubilee, last year was hacked off of the wall and listed for sale at a US auction site with a £320,000 – £452,000 estimate. It was later withdrawn from sale after public pressure.
“The Banksy piece added something different to Turnpike Lane and attracted many people to the area. It’s certainly a shame to have the piece ripped from the building and bizarrely put up for auction in the States – for hundreds of thousands of pounds. This just isn’t right; said Featherstone.
Local Councillor Alan Strickland said there was “lots of anger” at the removal, and is campaigning for the work’s return. “Residents have been really shocked and really astonished,” he told the BBC. “Banksy gave that piece of art to our community, and people came from all over London to see it. He said residents are “disappointed” that a “piece of art that was given freely has been taken away from them. Fine Art Auctions in Miami described the work as “stencil and spray paint on render with additional jubilee bunting”. It stated that the consignment came from a “well-known collector”, who had signed a contract to say “everything was above board”.
Artlyst had been told by Miami insiders that the Banksy was allegedly consigned by the notorious Keszler Gallery from the Hamptons in New York. During last December’s Art Basel Miami week Keszler exhibited two Banksy murals crudely removed from Bethlehem in 2007. The works were exhibited in a show of Street Art by the Bristol born artist which included the iconic Kissing Policemen mural which was sold by the owner of a Brighton Pub last year. Stephan Keszler, the owner of the eponymous gallery, and Robin Barton, the owner of London’s Bankrobber Gallery are rumoured to be involved in handling the sale of the mural.