Miami Auction Stirs Anglo Anger
A Miami-based auction house has become the focus of a huge Anglo-American art dispute.
Art collectors of Art Kabinett social network can witness first-hand another example of stolen public artwork.
The 'Poundland' Banksy mural which appeared around the time of the Diamond Jubilee in North London last year has been hacked off the local wall and listed for sale at a Miami auction site with a $500,000-$700,000 estimate.
The mural, shown here, depicts a child laborer hunched over a sewing machine stitching a string of Union Jack bunting.
The work created in Whymark Avenue, Wood Green, appeared in May last year. Banksy websites describe it as a statement on the use of sweat-shop child labour.
Local Councillor Alan Strickland said there is "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 and sold for an enormous profit".
Fine Art Auctions in Miami have described the work as "stencil and spray paint on render with additional jubilee bunting".
It rejected suggestions that the mural was stolen, saying the listing came from a "well-known collector", who had signed a contract to say "everything was above board".
The question remains as to whether or not this mural is subject to an export license. It is possible given the value and cultural significance of the mural that an export license should have been necessary, in order to take the work out of the country.
The authorities have been informed and it is likely that the mural will be withdrawn from sale in the US and returned to the UK.
As of this morning, the artwork is still listed as lot #6 in the auction occuring this Saturday at 10:00 AM.
FAAM was established by Frederic Thut, the Director of the European Evaluators LLC in New York City.
Located in Miami's trendy Wynwood district, the auction house conducts sales every few months. Its website states that, it specializes in important Russian, Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary works of art.
A sale of just under 30 artworks during Art Basel week fetched over $20 million.
Here is the link to the auction house website, where you can view the entire catalog, including the Banksy work. http://www.faamiami.com/