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Banksy graffiti auction halted after UK outcry

The Associated Press, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 5:48am (PST)

LONDON (AP) — A mural by secretive graffiti artist Banksy has been withdrawn from an auction sale after a campaign by London residents to reclaim it.

The stencil of a young boy sewing Union Jack bunting on an antique sewing machine vanished earlier this month from the side of a north London bargain store. Only exposed brick remained at the site, but the artwork has appeared on the website of a Miami auction house.

The mural was due to be sold Saturday with an estimated price of between $500,000 and $700,000. Fine Art Auctions Miami later said that the item was withdrawn from sale, though it did not explain why.

Claire Kober, leader of local authority Haringey Council, said it will now try to bring the artwork back to the community.

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