The proposed sale of a Banksy mural that vanished from north London last week and could now fetch up to £450,000 at an American auction has prompted the local authority to ask the Arts Council for help in recovering it.

Haringey Council has written to the Arts Council saying it wants to bring back the piece of street art, which depicts a young boy hunched over a sewing machine making Union Jack bunting, as it is a symbol of local pride.

The mural, which was painted in May 2012, just before the Diamond Jubilee, disappeared from the side of a Poundland shop and is expected to fetch up to $700,000 (£451,900) at Fine Art Auctions in Miami, Florida, on Saturday.

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The original artwork on the wall outside Wood Green Poundland


The council is leading a campaign to bring back the artwork, and has called on the Arts Council to intervene due to the local and national significance of the art work.

Councillor Alan Strickland said: "The Banksy created a huge amount of excitement when it first appeared, and residents are understandably shocked and angry that it has been removed for private sale.

"The community feels that this art work was given to it for free, and that it should be kept in Haringey where it belongs, not sold for a fast buck.

"This is an area that was rocked by riots less than a year before this mural was painted, and for many in the community the painting has become a real symbol of local pride.

"I've written to the Arts Council to ask them to explore whether this art work is being exported appropriately.

"We're asking the Arts Council to intervene because we believe that the strong local and national significance of the mural mean it is wrong to export it.

"We're determined to do what we can to bring back Banksy to Haringey."

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  • The Oscars refused to let Banksy come incognito to the ceremony in which his documentary Entry Through the Gift Shop was nominated because it was too much of a security risk.

  • Banksy says "I am unable to comment on who may or may not be Banksy, but anyone described as being 'good at drawing' doesn't sound like Banksy to me"

  • It's said that his agent isn't even quite sure of his identity

  • Celebrity owners of his art include Christina Aguilera and Angelina Jolie

  • One of the first conventional exhibitions of his art was held in a warehouse in 2000, but Banksy gave out only the street number for the building and not the street.

  • In September of 2006, Banksy inserted 500 fake CDs into the sleeves of Paris Hilton's debut release, at music retailers in several U.K. cities. Buyers bought his remixes of Hilton's songs, which were tagged with new titles, including - "Why Am I Famous?".

  • It is said his parents believe he is a painter and decorator rather than a successful artist.

  • The son of a photocopier engineer, he might have trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s.

  • In support of a Bristol anti Tesco demonstration he released a print which showed a smoking petrol bomb in a Tesco Value bottle

  • In August 2004, Banksy produced spoof British £10 notes changing the picture of the Queen to one of Diana, Princess of Wales's head and changing the text to 'Banksy of England'