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In this May 11, 2010 file photo Eric Froh, conservator with 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios, clears the area around the stenciled artwork and message by British graffiti artist Banksy an abandoned car plant in Detroit before it was encased in a frame and taken to their gallery in Detroit.
Jerry S. Mendoza—AP

(DETROIT) — An art gallery plans to sell a work that the elusive British graffiti artist Banksy created at an abandoned Detroit auto plant, a gallery official said Monday.

Carl Goines, who co-founded the 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios, told The Associated Press that proceeds from the sale will go to expand the Detroit gallery’s programming. The sale first was reported by the Motor City Muckraker news website.

Goines said he is hoping the Banksy work will bring in between $200,000 and $1.2 million, which he said is the range of recent sales.

An 8-foot, 1,500-pound section of cinderblock wall featuring the stenciled artwork was removed from the Packard Plant site in 2010. It features a figure of a child holding a bucket of red paint and brush alongside the message: “I remember when all this was trees.”

The mural has been a centerpiece at 555’s space in southwest Detroit, as Banksy is an international figure in street art known for traveling the world and anonymously leaving his signature pieces in public areas.

The decision to sell the prized piece has been met with some criticism, Goines said.

“The response online is pretty volatile, which we knew would come with our going public, but the people on the ground that we work with and support, who understand that it was not an easy choice to make, stand behind 555’s mission to provide sustainable art space for artists and the community,” he said.

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