The company who sold the Banksy mural "Slave Labour" have prompted further outcry after a second well-loved artwork was removed from a north London wall yesterday to be put up for auction commercially.
The work, which shows two children playing and is called "No Ball Games", was sprayed on the side of a shop in Tottenham four years ago by the mysterious street artist.
But yesterday the Banksy was cut out of the wall near Tottenham High Road at the junction with Philip Lane.
The Sincura Group, which is behind its removal, said that "No Ball Games" had not been appreciated by locals and would be sold.
The events company sold "Slave Labour" in June for an estimated £750,000 after it was taken from a wall in Wood Green, also in the London borough of Haringey, last February.
Alkin Ali, 28, who rents the Alex BG shop which the mural adorned, said his landlord told him last Friday that part of his shop wall would be removed.
Mr Ali told the Evening Standard: “He said they were taking the painting, and asked if I minded that there would be some work done at the side of my shop. I said that was okay. They began work on Sunday.”
Local people have expressed outcry at the removal of "No Ball Games".
Janet Cooke, a nearby estate agent, told the BBC it was sad that a "little iconic bit of Tottenham" had been taken.
Ian Pereira, 48, from Tottenham said he was “gutted” at its loss. “A lot of people around here knew how important it was, and they were proud of it. People came into Tottenham to see it and spend a few quid in the local shops," he said.
“Haringey had two Banksys and now it has none. When people realise what has happened they will be gutted - I am.”
Keith Flett, secretary of Haringey Trades Council, the north London wing of the TUC, and Tottenham resident said: “The Banksy was an important cultural feature of the area, and if it has been removed – which currently looks rather likely given the wall is being re-plastered – it will be another indication that local people’s wishes in the area come second to the interests of profit.”
The Sincura Group said in a statement that the piece had been removed to "to be sensitively restored to its former glory".
It said the artwork had been "gifted" to Haringey-based charity Step by Step which works with disabled children and their carers. A spokesperson for the charity could not be reached at press time.
"No Ball Games" is expected to be auctioned in 2014.