Banksy piece sells for record £9.8m at auction
A Banksy piece depicting a House of Commons populated by chimpanzees has sold for a record £9.8m at auction in London.
The artist’s piece, titled Devolved Parliament and showing the apes as MPs in the Commons, was sold at auction house Sotheby’s in London.
The piece originally had an estimated price tag of £1.5m to £2m, with the auctioneer saying history had been made during the sale.
Bidding for the piece lasted for 13 minutes. In the end, the hammer went down on a price of £8.5m. Fees added on top of the price rounded it up to £9.8m.
Devolved Parliament belonged to a private owner, but Banksy made his feelings clear on his Instagram page. “Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight. Shame I didn’t still own it,” he said.
Before the sale, the auction record for a Banksy work was $1.87m (£1.51m) for the piece Keep It Spotless, which sold at Sotheby’s in 2008.
Devolved Parliament is 13ft (four metre) long, making it the largest Banksy canvas.
It was made in 2009, but after the work went on display in March, Banksy wrote on Instagram: “Devolved Parliament. I made this 10 years ago. Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day.”
Originally from Bristol, Banksy is known for keeping his identity a secret, with his graffiti work appearing in cities, usually with a political or social edge to them.
This week some of his works, including Stormzy’s stab vest, went on display in a shop in London and on sale online.