“We were very lucky to have a friend that was a structural engineer and master rigger who came up with a brilliant system to encase and protect the mural while the building was demolished around it,” Metz said.
And then, when it was the only part of the Pitt Street Boys’ Club building left standing, the wall featuring Haring’s mural was carted to New Jersey for inspection by a conservator and, eventually, sold. At the time, experts cited by New York Times reporter Carol Vogel suggested Boys Club Mural could be worth between $4 million and $6 million; a 12-by-12-foot painting on a tarp had just sold for $2.8 million at Christie’s, setting a new auction record for Haring’s work. That sum has been surpassed 11 times since, including by the current Haring record-holder, a roughly 10-by-10-foot painting—half the size of the Boys Club Mural—that sold for $6.5 million at Sotheby’s in 2017.
Neither Metz nor Jacoby would identify the mural’s current owner, but both said plans for future exhibitions beyond the Pioneer Works display (which ends on May 12th) are in the works.
“We hope it remains in public view and are in the planning stage for next steps,” Jacoby said. “We are thinking globally and we know how to move it.”