Mr. Ernst Wastl, Austrian collector and owner of the Ernst Gallery Budapest bought the life-sized cow sculpture called ‘Milky Way’ decorated with more than 13.500 pieces of Swarovski crystals at a charity auction on 2 October 2007 in the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest Hotel for a record price.
The art piece which was designed and manufactured by artists János Héder and Judit Zoltai, co-owner and designer of Manooi became the emblem of the 2007 ‘Cow Parade’ very before the auction. The value of the sculpture arises not only from the high value of the Swarovski crystals and exceptional technical execution (it’s lighted with bulbs from inside) but from the conception it is symbolizing.
Mr. Wastl regards himself very lucky that he could acquire the Milky Way, as the auction was announced in a very short time. And even the New Yorker Museum – who is the biggest competitor for Mr. Wastl- was late from bidding. The museum has already contacted Ernst Gallery to start negotiations about the ‘Milky Way’. Anyhow, Mr. Wastl as the laughing third is sure that this exciting masterpiece will give a new flow to the art scene and it could fit in any modern art museums all around the world.
Mr. Ernst Wastl underlines another important fact that through this purchase he supported the ‘Hole in the Wall” charity foundation (initiated by Paul Newman) which helps the recreative encampment of children suffering from tumors and other chronic diseases.
Mr. Wastl intends to bring the sculpture to Austria: ‘It needs an international context for sure. An American museum could guarantee it, but according to my opinion the ‘Milky Way’ could unfold its true meaning only in a place to which it has close ties.’