Banksy artwork removed in Lowestoft by building owner

  • Video report by ITV News Anglia's Raveena Ghattaura

An artwork painted by Banksy as part of his Great British Spraycation has been removed from a building in Lowestoft.

The piece, which appeared on the side of a closed shop in the town centre, depicts a child with a crowbar next to a sandcastle.

It was cut from the wall on Sunday, having been painted by the elusive artist in August.

The artwork as it originally appeared in August Credit: ITV Anglia

The former electrical shop was on the market for £300,00 when the work appeared, but was re-listed for £500,000 after the world-renowned artist confirmed his 'Spraycation' in East Anglia.

Several of Banksy's artworks appeared in Lowestoft, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Cromer and Oulton Broad, bringing a flurry of excitement and an increase of visitors to the towns.The artwork in London Road North is the first of the series to be removed to be sold, although one other painting has been defaced.

  • Video from Crispin Hook

Chris Smith, who owns a nearby shop saw builders cutting the work out of the wall.

He said: "It was done like the Hatton heist. They started on the inside, got the outside back of the lorry and it was gone. Being as nosey as we are we asked questions and that's when we found out they were taking it away and that it had been sold."

It is understood that the owner of the building is planning to ship it to America to be sold.

Art dealer John Brandler of Brandler Galleries in Brentwood said: "We don't know the details of this deal, but I understood from talking to colleagues that it's probably going to be shipped to America to be sold. Which is a pity, because it means it will never come back to the UK."It was reported at the time that it increased the value of the building by £200,000 pounds and was put back on the market, so the owner was willing to sell it at a time in location for £200,000.

"I think it will fetch a lot more than that when it goes to America. It could fetch anything up to a million or two, if the right person wants it. Banksy has become the Picasso of the 21st century."Nasima Begum, Deputy Mayor, Lowestoft town council said: "When we first heard that the banksy artwork was all over Lowestoft it created such a buzz, it created a lot of tourism for the town which was great. I think it is such a shame that it has been removed. I just have to hope it ends up somewhere where the people of Lowestoft can still appreciate it."