On Saturday, the artwork was unexpectedly removed from the wall of the Poundland shop on Wood Green High Road. The authentic Banksy piece has subsequently appeared for auction in the United States with an estimated value of £320,000-£452,000.
The Liberal Democrat MP has already taken the following actions:
- Contacted Poundland to ascertain whether they had any part in or knowledge of the removal. The retailer has insisted that they are not responsible, but they are expected to shed some light on the course of events.
- Used the land registry office to track down the building owners, Wood Green Investments. The MP then asked the company for an explanation, and to identify the collector to whom the artwork was sold.
- Contacted the auctioneers, Fine Art Auctions Miami, to ask that the artwork be withdrawn from auction pending further investigation.
Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, commented:
“I share my constituents’ great strength of feeling on this issue. It is clear that the Banksy piece was much loved by locals and visitors alike, and a community asset that was an important part of the fabric of the Turnpike Lane area.
“So far, Poundland have denied all knowledge and responsibility. The auction house has confirmed that a well known collector brought the piece to them, and said they see nothing untoward about how the piece ended up with them. I am now focussing my attention on the building owners, and the identity of the collector.
“It is totally unethical that something so valued should be torn without warning from its community context.
“I will continue doing all I can to investigate, with the hope that our Banksy piece might be returned to its rightful home.”