PART of one of Brighton's best-loved landmarks has been listed for sale on eBay.

A piece of the now ruined West Pier is available on the online marketplace for a "buy it now" price of £850.

The Chichester-based seller says the metal structure comes complete with a "certificate of authenticity".

See the listing here>>>

In a description of the item, the current owner says: "What a piece of history. A surviving column that once stood as part of the famous Brighton West Pier since 1866.

"This column formed the support for the glass windows that made the wind break in the rotunda right on the end of the pier.

"This really is very special. It is rare to have a whole complete column, and a lovely addition is that it still has the original putty and the odd pieces of sea-etched glass still intact.

The Argus: Part of the West Pier in Brighton has been listed for sale on eBayPart of the West Pier in Brighton has been listed for sale on eBay
"The casting quality is fantastic and the detail in the fluted top is just typical of the Regency period when everything was about showing off with the smallest of details.

"This would make a beautiful addition to any interior or garden design, as well as a fantastic investment for the collector."

A spokesman for the West Pier Trust, which owns the landmark, said the item was likely to have been bought by the current owner through the trust's sale of "unusable parts of the pier" to raise money for its "kiosk restoration project".

The Argus: The West Pier from above Credit: Kai KinseyThe West Pier from above Credit: Kai Kinsey
It currently has a complete 1866 kiosk, one of six which originally featured on the pier, in storage and plans to restore the building.

The West Pier Trust website states: "We are restoring an original octagonal 1866 pier kiosk to reinstate on Brighton seafront close to its original site.

"This exquisite structure will be the oldest pier building in the world and the UK’s first seaside learning centre.

"To raise funds, we are selling West Pier fragments and artefacts. Every item comes with a certificate of authenticity.

The Argus: The West Pier was destroyed in a fireThe West Pier was destroyed in a fire
"As these pieces date back to 1866 or soon after, inevitably they show signs of wear and may not be completely perfect.

"Please get in touch if you would like to own a piece of Brighton’s history and contribute towards the restoration of this important building."

While this sale is legitimate, Brighton and Hove recently saw a chancer try to flog a pair of historic seafront lights on Facebook for £575 last November.

After an Argus investigation, the lights were seized back by the council.

This incident has prompted Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth to call for a list of council-owned heritage to be drawn up, and for the status of each one to be regularly checked to make sure it has not gone missing or been taken.

The Argus: The West Pier in 1997The West Pier in 1997
"While there is nothing at all to suggest that the sale of West Pier artefacts is improper, it does highlight the suspicion that the public has," he said.

"I have called for a list of local heritage assets to be drawn up which I hope the Labour/Green administration will support.”

On March 28, 2003, the West Pier was engulfed by an inferno which gutted the building, leaving only the bones of the historic structure.

The metal remains have since become a popular focus for photographers.

The fire in 2003 sent 100 years of history up in flames in less than an hour. It was believed the blaze was the work of arsonists.

On the day of the fire, station officer Phil Thompson of Preston Circus fire station in Brighton, said "there is no way it could have started on its own".

All timber was burned away but a solid-looking cast iron and steel framework remained.

Some parts of this have now fallen victim to decay, but the eerie outline of the destroyed landmark remains an emblematic feature of Brighton seafront.