Landlord reportedly sells Banksy for £2 million after "ripping it off the wall"
The piece had originally been a "gift to the people of Lowestoft"
The landlord of an electrical shop in Lowestoft, Suffolk, where a Banksy appeared in the summer, has reportedly removed the artwork from the wall and sold it for £2 million.
Gary and Nadine Schwartz, the couple who own the building, first noticed the artwork pop up on the side of the shop in August. The picture depicts a girl with a crowbar in front of a pile of sand attempting to build a sandcastle.
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The graffiti piece was later "ripped" off the wall, according to reports, and could have fetched up to £2 million for the lucky landlords.
Lowestoft residents were not pleased with the removal of the mural.
The town’s deputy mayor Nasima Begum pitched in her disappointment, saying: “I’m sure Banksy didn’t put it on there in the hope that someone would profit from it.”
Begum also added that it was a "shame" to see the piece removed after attracting a slew of eager visitors and Banksy fans over time. “It’s a real shame. The Banksy art created such a buzz and attracted so many visitors to the area,” she said.
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Crowbar Girl - as the piece was named - was allegedly one of only 10 Banksy pieces in the Norfolk and Suffolk area. When it was removed in November, rumours spread around the town that the piece was being sent across the pond for a USA tour.
Banksy collector John Brandler claimed that the piece could have sold for anywhere up to £2 million at auction. “Lowestoft was given a gift by Banksy; a golden opportunity to bring thousands of tourists into the town and help the local economy,” he told BBC News.
[Via: BBC News]
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter