Two millionaire property developers who own a wall that was previously home to a Banksy mural claim the council did “nothing” to protect the work.

The Evening Standard reported that developers Robert Davies and Les Gilbert criticised Haringey Borough Council’s efforts to protect the iconic piece, which was cut from a Wood Green wall earlier this month to appear on an American online auction site.

Mr Davies told the Evening Standard: “I cannot believe it’s over graffiti on a wall that has caused this. We had a case with one of our buildings where we had graffiti and the council told us they would fine us over £1,000 if we didn’t remove it.

“The council has done nothing to protect it. It hasn't not helped us in any way. It's just caused us more problems and more problems.”

The work, entitled Slave Labour, was due to go sale at 8pm on Saturday with a starting price of more than £260,000.

But it was unexpectedly withdrawn following campaigns from community leaders - including Councillor Alan Strickland - to bring the stencilled work back to the borough.

The work appeared on the side of Poundland in Whymark Avenue near Turnpike Lane Tube station last May in the lead-up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Shortly after its appearance, bunting was removed from the work and it was covered with a clear sheet of plastic to protect it from damage.

Fresh graffiti commenting on the removal has appeared on the site after the Banksy disappearance and artists from Turnpike Art Group (TAG) believe the work should never be reinstalled, but stored “safely away from temptation”.

Instead, the group believes the space should be transformed into an “evolving installation piece” for the community to use freely.