Banksy’s ‘Slave Labour’ mural has been sold to esteemed street artist Ron English for $700,000 who plans to whitewash it in protest.
‘Slave Labour’, which depicts a young child on his knees at a sewing machine, producing a string of Union Jack bunting, was painted on the side of a Poundland store in Wood Green in 2012.
Alleged to be a protest against sweatshops used to manufacture souvenirs for the London Olympics, it was removed from the wall in February 2013, to the anger of local residents.
English bought the painting after it was auctioned by Julien’s in Los Angeles.
“I’m going to paint it white again, I’m done. This is a blow for street art. It shouldn’t be bought and sold. I’m going to paint over it and just include it in one of the walls in my house. We’re tired of people stealing our stuff off the streets and re-selling it so I’m just going to buy everything I can get my hands on and whitewash it.”
English also said he plans to sell the whitewash painting for a million dollars.
It comes only a month after a print of Banksy’s iconic ‘Girl With Balloon’ painting from 2006 shredded itself only moments after selling for $1.1 million.