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Guerilla art

Banksy artwork depicting MPs as chimpanzees sold for record amount

Devolved Parliament went under the hammer in London last night.

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A BANKSY ARTWORK depicting MPs in the House of Commons as chimpanzees has been sold for almost £9.9 million (€11 million), in what organisers say is a record for the street artist.

Devolved Parliament, which is four metres wide, was first unveiled as part of the Bristol artist’s exhibition Banksy vs Bristol Museum in 2009.

It went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London last night and after 13 minutes of bidding, sold for £9,879,500. It had a guide price of between £1.5-2 million. 

That comfortably beats the previous auction record for a Banksy – the £1.54 million (€1.7 million) paid for Keep It Spotless, which was sold at Sotheby’s in New York.

In a statement after the record sale, Sotheby’s said: “More than 10 determined bidders competed for the work over the course of a 13-minute battle, quintupling the pre-sale high estimate.”

Shortly after Devolved Parliament was sold, Banksy reacted on Instagram.

“Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight,” he wrote.

“Shame I didn’t still own it.”

After Devolved Parliament went on display in March, Banksy wrote on Instagram: “Devolved Parliament. I made this 10 years ago.

In 2009, Banksy said of Devolved Parliament: “You paint 100 chimpanzees and they still call you a guerrilla artist.”

Devolved Parliament was only the joint most expensive painting sold by Sotheby’s on Thursday, however.

Pyro, a 1984 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, also sold for £9,879,500.

Thursday’s auction took place almost a year after Banksy’s Girl With The Balloon partially shredded itself as the gavel came down at Sotheby’s, becoming the freshly titled Love Is In The Bin. It sold for one million US dollars.

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