• By The Financial District

BANKSY PAINTING RAISES $23M FOR UK HEALTH CHARITIES

A Banksy painting honoring Britain’s health workers in the pandemic has sold for a record 16.8 million pounds ($23.2 million), auction house Christie’s said Tuesday. Proceeds from the sale will be used to fund health organizations and charities across the United Kingdom, it said.

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The work by the mysterious street artist, titled “Game Changer,” first appeared on a wall at Southampton General Hospital in southern England in May, during the first wave of the pandemic. The black-and-white picture depicts a young boy sitting on the floor playing with a nurse superhero toy, as Batman and Spiderman toy figures lie in a wastepaper basket next to him, the Associated Press (AP) reported.


At the time it went up, the hospital said Banksy left a note for workers there saying: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”


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Christie’s said the sale price was a world auction record for Banksy. The auction house said it will donate a “significant portion” of the buyer’s premium to health organizations. A reproduction of the picture will stay at the hospital for patients, visitors and staff, Christie’s added.


“Banksy is an extraordinary artist who is a constant barometer of nationwide sentiment,” said Katharine Arnold, who heads the European post-war and contemporary art division at the auction house.


“With the perfect image of a little boy playing with his superhero doll, a nurse sporting the international Red Cross, he perfectly captured the essence of this moment in time.”



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