The “slave labour” Banksy that appeared on Whymark Avenue, near Turnpike Lane tube, in May last year has been removed from the building, sold and is up for auction in Miami.
Harringay Online user AntK had suspicions that something was afoot as long ago as last Wednesday when the Banksy was covered with tarpaulin, surrounded by scaffolding and guarded by a security van. By Saturday it was gone — not exactly a top notch job as you can see above.
Local residents have been sharing their dismay over the loss of this street art on local forums, not just Harringay Online but noelparknet.com and Bowes & Bounds Connected. What’s striking is how much affection local people have for the piece. Turnpike Lane doesn’t often make the news and the artwork brought a boost to the area. Wood Green people felt they had a stake in it — that it was their Banksy. Indeed, Haringey Council even included it as a tourist attraction in their Olympic guide to the borough.
Local councillor Alan Strickland has launched a campaign encouraging people to email the auction house in Miami requesting the art work be removed from sale, and people have emailed Banksy himself. However, it seems doubtful that much can be done to prevent the sale or restore it to Whymark Avenue.
But perhaps other pieces can appear in its place. One Bowes & Bounds Connected user comments, “I wouldn’t be surprised if another mural appeared on that wall now — from irate members of the public”. If Banksy ever comes back to Wood Green, perhaps he’ll be kind enough to pick a public building for his next work.
The Banksy is due to go under the hammer on 23 February.