The future of the boxed remains of the Baltic Exchange, the Grade II*-listed building that originally stood on the site of Foster and Partners' Swiss Re tower, is under threat.
Badly damaged by an IRA bomb in 1992, the London landmark was carefully dismantled in the hope that it could be sold, restored and rebuilt elsewhere.
However, a buyer has yet to come forward, and the giant jigsaw of Portland stone, marble and red granite may be put on the market as separate lots.
Current owner Dennis Buggins, of Extreme Architecture in Canterbury, admitted that time is running out for the exchange, which is up for sale at £750,000. 'I've had interest from someone in Greenwich and from overseas, ' he said. 'Personally, I would still like to see it erected in some form - it is a fabulous building. But I'm in business, and if nothing comes to fruition I may have to break it up and sell bits off.' This decision could raise a few eyebrows among conservationists but Adam Wilkinson at SAVE Britain's Heritage believes the real damage was done long before. 'The scandal took place many years ago when John Prescott and English Heritage allowed it to be demolished, ' he said. 'What you have got to ask is 'how has it got to this stage?'.
'Dennis has every right to do this - the pieces have sat around in boxes and in fields for seven years. If it was remade it would only be a pastiche of what it once was anyway, ' Wilkinson added.