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Banksy painting raises £14.4m for UK health charities

Artwork painted by Banksy during lockdown, entitled 'Game Changer', on display to staff and patients at Southampton General Hospital. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)

Banksy painting raises £14.4m for UK health charities

A Banksy painting has sold for a record £16.8 million, with at least £14.4 million going towards UK health charities.

Banksy painting raises £14.4m for UK health charities

‘Game Changer’, a work which the anonymous artist made to thank the NHS amid the pandemic, depicts a young boy playing with a nurse superhero doll.

The painting had been displayed in University Hospital Southampton to boost morale among stuff.

The work was sold by auction house Christie’s, which said the price paid for the 1m x 1m work was a “world auction record” for Banksy.

The work was being sold with an estimate of £2.5m-3.5m, but the hammer eventually came down at £14.4m.

The purchaser paid £16.8m in total, which included a buyer’s premium.

Proceeds from the sale will go towards projects by health organisations and charities across the UK.

Christie’s said a “significant portion” of the buyer’s premium will also be donated to these causes.

“Banksy is an extraordinary artist who is a constant barometer of nationwide sentiment,” says Katharine Arnold, Co-Head, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Europe, Christie’s.

“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.

“As we have turned our focus towards our families and those we love we express our gratitude to the people who continue to fight on the frontline against COVID 19.”

A reproduction of the work remains in University Hospital Southampton.

 

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