Banksy's controversial mural, "Slave Labour," sold for an impressive $1.1 million at a private auction in London this week, reports Bloomberg News. The sale was lamented by UK-based campaigners who had been vying for the street artwork's return to public viewing.
For those unfamiliar with the Bansky mural saga, the artwork was initially plastered on the wall of a local Poundland retail shop last year, but it was removed from its Wood Green location by unknown salvagers soon after. The mural then popped up at a fine arts auction house in Miami with a $700,000 price tag, prompting London street art admirers to protest the sale, claiming the mural was unjustly taken from their town.
The planned Miami auction, initiated by the the owners of the Wood Green Poundland wall, Robert Alan Davis and Leslie Steven Gilbert, was halted at the 11th hour for unexplained reasons, leading members of the Haringey Council in London to believe that they had successfully campaigned against the sale of the "stolen" Banksy masterpiece. However, the artwork went on to sell in the UK just months later, auctioned off by the Sincura Group in the basement of the London Film Museum, reports Metro UK.
"The Sincura Group do not condone any acts of wanton vandalism or other illegal activity," Sincura wrote in a press release. "However after carrying out extensive due diligence with regard the work's provenance and ownership we are entirely satisfied that the mural was legally salvaged and that its current owners and its representative are acting in good faith."
The new owner of the iconic piece of street art is unknown, though we understand the nameless collector beat out at least two other potential buyers who offered bids of over $1 million. For more information on the iconic mural of a young boy sewing Union Jacks, check out our previous article here. Let us know your thoughts on the sticky situation in the comments.