Haringey Council calls on Culture Secretary in fight to bring back Banksy

Publication date: Thursday 21 February 2013

Haringey Council has today written to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller MP, asking her to support the community’s efforts to retrieve a missing Banksy mural which is set to go under the hammer in the US in just over two days time.

The ‘Slave Labour’ artwork appeared in Haringey on a wall at the corner of Whymark Avenue and Wood Green High Road in May 2012.

But it was removed from Haringey last weekend and will be up for sale this Saturday at Miami’s Fine Art Auction House at a guide price of around £450,000.

The council is leading a campaign to bring back Banksy, and after learning that the Arts Council has no power to intervene, we have turned to the Culture Secretary for support.

Haringey Council leader Cllr Claire Kober said:

"As the clock ticks towards auction day we are stepping up the fight to secure the return of our Banksy.

"We want to explore all avenues for getting back this important mural and having written to the Arts Council and Fine Arts Auction Miami earlier in the week we are now appealing to the Mayor of Miami Tomás Regalado and the highest ranked of our own politicians in the culture department.

"We have had residents from across the whole borough and people across the UK and beyond express how dismayed they are that a piece of art given to the community for free is now being sold for a quick profit.

"The mural appeared in a community that a year earlier was rocked by some of the worst riots in a generation– having a Banksy helped restore local pride and helped make the area a positive talking point.

"We are urging the Culture Secretary to back our appeal and use any powers she had to intervene and halt the sale of this unique piece of public art."

  • Support the campaign - see our Bring Back Banksy page for details

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