'Rotting' Banksy Mural To Be Removed And Sold
A Banksy mural, which is rotting underneath boards on a London wall, is being removed and will be put up for sale.
The 'Girl with a Balloon' has been on the side of a shop near Liverpool Street for more than 10 years.
Tony Baxter, a director at events company Sincura Group, told Sky News work began on Thursday on the removal of the "iconic" piece of art and will be finished by Sunday.
"This piece has been completely forgotten about and thousands of commuters walk past it every day," he said.
Mr Baxter claims if the company, which was responsible for the removal of another Banksy piece last year, had not "stepped in" the stencil would be gone within a year.
He added that the work will be restored before going up for auction, where it could fetch hundreds of thousands of pounds.
However, Sincura Group's actions are likely to cause more controversy, with some people believing the artist's works should be left in situ and that no one should benefit financially from its sale.
Mr Baxter said the money made from the sale of the mural will go to the owner of the building and added that a donation would also be made to charity.
A statement on the 'Stealing Banksy' website, which is also behind the project, said: "Though we have no doubt that Banksy does not appreciate his illegally painted artwork being lifted from the streets, we would like to think that he values the fact that his work is being restored to its former glory and that substantial contributions are made to charities."
In December a Banksy mural stencilled on the side of a Hollywood petrol station sold for £129,000.
The highest known price paid for a piece of his work was £675,000 - for a mural called Slave Labour auctioned in London last June.
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