Banksy's Kissing Coppers sold in US

Halstead Gazette: "Kissing Coppers," a black-and-white stencil of two uniformed policeman in a passionate clinch by Banksy. "Kissing Coppers," a black-and-white stencil of two uniformed policeman in a passionate clinch by Banksy.

One of Banksy's most famous murals has been sold at auction in the US after being removed from the wall of a Brighton pub.

Kissing Coppers, a life-size black and white graffiti work of two policemen kissing, was sold to an anonymous buyer in Miami for for 575,000 dollars (£345,000).

It was spray-painted on the side of the Prince Albert pub in Trafalgar Street near Brighton city centre in 2004 and became one of Banksy's most famous street works.

The original was replaced with a replica encased in perspex after being carefully removed and flown to America in 2011, the Argus reported.

It had been expected to sell anywhere from 500,000 dollars (£300,000) to 700,000 dollars (£420,000).

However, two other pieces from the elusive Bristol street artist created in New York last year failed to receive their minimum bids at the Fine Art Auctions Miami.

The two works that went unsold are Bandaged Heart and Crazy Horse Car Door completed during Banksy's self-proclaimed New York City residency in the autumn, seller Stephan Keszler told The Associated Press.

Over the last three years he said he has sold 11 original works by the street artist.

They include the controversial sale in London of Slave Labour (Bunting Boy), which last year went for £750,000 to a US collector.

Slave Labour, which shows a young boy hunched over a sewing machine making Union Jack bunting, appeared on a wall in Wood Green, north London, in May 2012 just before the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Haringey Council had supported an unsuccessful campaign to return the "symbol of local pride".

Banksy, who refuses to reveal his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol.

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