FBI urges probe into missing Banksy
Scotland Yard has been asked by the FBI to investigate the removal of a Banksy street mural in Haringey.
The Met’s arts and antiques unit launched preliminary inquiries after the celebrated graffiti artist’s work, titled Slave Labour, was hacked off a wall outside the Poundland shop near Turnpike Lane last week.
US law enforcement officials got involved when the piece, which depicts a young boy hunched over a sewing machine making Union Jack bunting, turned up for auction in Miami, where it is due to go under the hammer tomorrow with an estimated price of £500,000. After widespread public outrage led by Haringey council, questions remain over how the popular mural came to be removed — and what can be done about it.
The council and Poundland condemned the removal of the piece, which was painted last May, before the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and is thought to be a critique of sweatshops that produce cheap decorations. The owner of the building, Wood Green Investments, has so far refused to comment. Asked if the two company directors, Robert Davies and Les Gilbert, sanctioned the mural’s removal, a friend said today: “That is the $64 million dollar question.
“Here is their problem. If they were to say they were not involved then it becomes a theft and the police come knocking at their door. If they say they are involved, they will be very unpopular. If they comment in either direction it would be a problem.” It emerged today that Banksy may have passed his own verdict on the row after a new artwork was painted on the same north London wall. During the early hours a graffiti artist stencilled an image of a startled rat holding a sign with the word: “Why?”....Read more