Banksy isn't the most seeable artist and since he has become an international sensation, his works have also gained mystique. A few months ago a mural he painted on the side of a north London store disappeared and somehow ended up at an auction house in Miami, Florida. It will be returning to the U.K. for another auction.
The work is a commentary piece on slave labor, depicting a small boy slouched over a sewing machine making Union Jack bunting. It vanished from a supermarket's wall, much to the dismay of art lovers in the area. It showed up on the Miami's Fine Art Auctions website, being sold for $500,000 to $700,000. However it was taken down without explanation.
Auctioneers Sincura Group claim the "Slave Labour" work has been "sensitively restored" and will be sold at the London Film Museum on June 2. But buyers beware: bids will be done in a fuzzy way. Apparently the American owners of the piece have agreed to sell it for approximately the price they paid for it, however that amount is unknown.
Sincura Group itself sounds shady. They describe themselves as "VIP concierge specialists and purveyors of lifestyle and tickets." The director of the group, Tony Baxter, said "Look, we want to see it on display in Britain, and we got off our arses and did something about it. If it's bought, fine; but if not it goes straight back on the plane and will never be seen here again."