THE PROPERTY owner who removed an entire wall to get a piece of Banksy's artwork has been slammed as the piece goes up for sale for £300,000.
The artist created the image of a child holding a crowbar next to a sandcastle in Lowestoft, Suffolk, during a coastal "spraycation" this August.
But just months after the famous artist's visit, workers were seen hacking the artwork from the wall – before a crane loaded it onto a waiting lorry on Sunday.
Now auctioneers have confirmed the piece will be put under the hammer in the US.
Julien's Auctions in California told BBC it could grab between £150,000 to £300,000 but "the sky is the limit with the current values of Banksy".
But the move to strip the artwork from the local community has been criticised.
Essex art dealer John Brandler owns several Banksy pieces and believes efforts should have been made to purchase the property.
"Lowestoft was given a gift by Banksy; a golden opportunity to bring thousands of tourists into the town and help the local economy. It's a missed opportunity," he said.
The design was spray-painted onto the side of an electric shop, which was on the market for £300,000 at the time.
But, after the world-famous artist made his mark on the wall, the price shot up to £500,000, BBC News reports.
But the move to strip the artwork from the local community has been criticised after the council confirmed the plans to remove it.
"WHY? Not doing any harm. People like to come and visit these. Leave it alone," one person said.
"It'll be worth nothing once removed ! He put it there for a reason !" wrote another.
"Surely they have more important things to worry about !!!" someone else stated.
Miles Barry, chairman of Easterly Artists said "it's a great shame" the piece was whisked off to the United States.
"If it's being removed to be displayed in a more prominent location within the town in an artistic context, then that's lovely," he said.
"If it's because the owner realised having it in location adds £200,000 to the value of the property but having it for auction… it could possibly fetch a great deal more – then that's a different situation.
"It's a great shame – it's not just about the painting on the wall… there's a social comment there about resources."
Ten pieces of art were created by Banksy this summer alone.
Taxi driver Rob Hook watched the artwork being carted away to an unknown location.
He told the BBC: "…they put a lintel in and cut the wall above it – now they've [strengthened] both sides with wood and framing.
"Now they're busy cutting the wall around it… the whole section of wall with the mural on it."
Banksy has made a name for himself with daring street art that has sold for millions of pounds.
Yet the famous guerrilla artist's work has become worth even MORE when it's destroyed – whether it's by accident or on purpose.
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