HT Estates

Chimps as MPs: Banksy sets auction record

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LONDON A large Banksy painting depicting primates sitting in Britain’s parliament sold for more than $12 million on Thursday, a record price at auction for a work by the secretive British street artist, according to Sotheby’s.

Devolved Parliament, in which chimpanzee­s replace politician­s in the House of Commons, more than comfortabl­y surpassed its estimated price tag of 1.5 mn to 2 mn pounds, with the auctioneer declaring “history being made” at one point during the sale which was streamed live.

After bidding that lasted some 13 minutes, the 2009 artwork from a private collection sold to loud applause for a hammer price of 8.5 mn, to which fees are added giving a final price of 9,879,500 pounds ($12.2mn). “Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight. Shame I didn’t still own it,” Banksy wrote on Instagram beside a post quoting art critic Robert Hughes. “... The price of a work of art is now part of its function, its new job is to sit on the wall and get more expensive.

:Instead of being the common property of humankind the way a book is, art becomes the particular property of someone who can afford it,” the post quoted Hughes as saying.

 ?? REUTERS ?? SIGN OF THE TIMES: Sotheby's staff display Banksy's Devolved Parliament, which sold for a record sum at an auction that lasted 13 minutes.
REUTERS SIGN OF THE TIMES: Sotheby's staff display Banksy's Devolved Parliament, which sold for a record sum at an auction that lasted 13 minutes.

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