17 August 2020
Under the hammer, Banksy’s triptych sold for £2.2million at the end of July.
The virtual evening auction at the Sotheby’s London headquarters saw a bidding war between two anonymous buyers for the paintings of the pseudonymous Bristolian artist.
The bidding nearly doubled its pre-sale estimate of £1.2million and became the second-highest price ever paid for the work of Banksy.
Entitled Mediterranean Sea View 2017, the set of three paintings are a reflection on the ongoing European refugee crisis that peaked five years ago.
The trio of artwork is Banksy’s witty reworkings of 19th-century Romantic-style oil paintings depicting seascapes with the addition of washed-up life jackets, buoys and paddling oars. A sombre nod towards the 21st-century tragedy and lamenting the lives of thousands of refugees who died at sea as they fled war and social unrest in their home countries.
Proceeds from the auction will go towards building a new acute stroke unit and buying children’s rehabilitation equipment for the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (BASR). ABCD Bethlehem has teamed with BASR who provide ‘medical, surgical and rehabilitation services in the Israeli-occupied city.
Since 2017, the triptych has been displayed in the lobby of the Walled Off Hotel that Banksy helped set up.
The Bethlehem hotel contains a museum and gallery of original Banksy artwork.