A councillor is in talks with a US auction house to trace the owners of a Banksy mural which vanished from Wood Green.

Councillor Alan Strickland told the Haringey Independent the campaign to bring the missing piece back to the borough is on course, but establishing ownership is vital before the piece can return.

The Banksy artwork, which was cut from the side of Poundland earlier this month, was withdrawn from sale by Fine Art Auctions Miami at the last minute on Saturday following pressure from the community.  

Cllr Strickland said: "I have been in talks with the auction house directly and we are working hard to find out who the owners now are of the piece to find out how we can bring it back.”

Although he is uncertain whether the campaign will be successful, he said the community has overcome the first hurdle by bringing the sale to a halt. 

He added: “What is absolutely clear is that the community of Wood Green is determined to bring it back.

“When we started, it was a small community action. Little did we think that so many people would get involved and we would have so much support that the story would be picked up internationally.”

The picture, called Slave Labour, was taken from the wall in Whymark Avenue before appearing on the auction site with a starting bid of $400,000 - more than £260,000.

The stencilled piece, which was covered in plastic sheeting days after it appeared, became a familiar sight after appearing in May last year in the build-up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.