Banksy painting depicting primates in British Parliament fetches $12.2 million at auction

Wealth

A gallery assistant poses with an artwork entitled ‘Devolved Parliament’ by British artist Banksy, during a press view in London on September 27, 2019, ahead of Sotheby’s contemporary art sale, as part of the Frieze Art Fair.

Tolga Akmen | AFP | Getty Images

A Banksy painting depicting primates conducting business as usual in British Parliament fetched a whopping 9.88 million Euros at an auction Thursday, or about $12.2 million.

The painting, entitled “Devolved Parliament,” sold for almost nine times its previous price after a 13-minute bidding war, Sotheby‘s auction house announced in a tweet.

First created in 2009, “Devolved Parliament” was originally named “Question Time” but was renamed and partially reworked after the U.K. missed its first Brexit deadline in March. The new Brexit deadline is Oct. 31.

Banksy, who is known for an anonymous identity and subversive, satirical political graffiti, has repeatedly raked in vast sums in the fine art market. Just last year, “Girl with Balloon” sold for $1.4 million at Sotheby’s, before shredding itself to the surprise of onlooking bidders. That painting was renamed “Love is in the Bin” following the spectacle.

Sotheby’s is no stranger to selling paintings for jaw-dropping sums. An 1890 Monet landscape painting sold for $110.7 million in May, setting a record for the auction house.

Sotheby’s reached an agreement in June with media entrepreneur and art collector Patrick Drahi to be taken private again, in a deal worth $3.7 billion. The multi-national auction house was publicly traded for 31 years on the New York Stock Exchange.

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