‘Missing’ Banksy mural fetches $1.1 million at auction

A mural by Banksy that went missing from a London neighborhood recently sold at a private auction for $1.1 million.

The sale of “Slave Labour,” which depicts a young boy hunched at a sewing machine stitching Union Jack bunting, was contested by street art fans who want the piece back on public view.

The stencil first appeared last June on the wall of Poundland discount shop in the Wood Green neighborhood ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

QUIZ: Expensive art on the auction block

In February, the mural was stripped from the wall, and a few days later popped up at Fine Art Auctions Miami with a list price of $500,000 to $700,000.


While protests halted the online auction, months later London-based Sincura Group listed the Banksy for sale, Bloomberg reports.

Robert Alan Davis and Leslie Steven Gilbert, proprietors Wood Green Investments, which owns the building on which the work appeared, were named as the sellers, according to Bloomberg.

The piece sold Sunday at a private auction at London Film Museum. Information on the buyer was not released.

The Sincura Group said in a statement that it was “satisfied that the mural was legally salvaged” and that Scotland Yard and the FBI “issued statements that there is no evidence of criminality involved in the removal of this illegally painted” mural.

Banksy has said he believes his art should remain in its original location on the street.


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