Landlord 'sells Lowestoft Banksy work for £2 million'
- Credit: Mick Howes/Crispin Hook
A former Lowestoft Banksy mural is believed to have been sold for up to £2 million in the UK after talks with the owner of an auction house in California fell through.
The sandcastle piece appeared on the side of the former Lowestoft Electrical store on London Road North in August 2021, as part of Banksy's Great British Spraycation series to the delight of the town.
The building had originally been on the market for £300,000 but after Banksy confirmed the work was part of his spraycation series, the price was increased to £500,000.
Gary and Nadine Schwartz, who own the building and live in Essex, removed the mural from the wall in November 2021 and at the time plans were believed to be in motion for the work to be sold at auction at Julien's Auction House in Culver City, California.
However, Darren Julien, director of Julien's Auction House, described how talks 'broke down' with the sellers and, according to art dealer John Brandler, Julien's low guide price of $200,000 to $400,000 deterred Mr and Mrs Schwartz from selling to the US market.
The piece has now been sold on privately to a buyer in the UK and according to Mr Brandler this could have sold for up to £2,000,000.
Plans are now in place for the work to eventually go on display somewhere else in the country.
Mr Bradler said: "The interest in this piece was huge in the town so it is a shame that more action wasn't taken to keep it at the heart of Lowestoft.
"Whether you agree with Banksy or not it would have encouraged people from all over the world to visit the town.
"The American market for this piece was not as strong because it was not authenticated by Banksy.
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"However, the Spraycation video adds values to the sandcastle piece so I expect it has now sold in the UK for around £2,000,000.
"I understand that the piece has now been sold in the UK and will be kept here.
"Where it will eventually be shown on display is not yet known though."
The sellers have been approached for comment.