A Banksy painting depicting a young boy playing with a nurse doll raised more than £ 16m for the NHS charity through auction.
Game Changer, by an anonymous graffiti artist, appeared in a foyer at Southampton General Hospital during the first wave of the pandemic.
World Auction Record
Christie said the price at the hammer was £ 14.4m for the 1m (3ft) x 1m work was a “world auction record” for a Banksy.
Including the buyer’s premium, the buyer paid £ 16.8m.
Christie said they will donate a “significant portion” of its premium, which means a sum of “more than £ 16m” will go to Southampton Hospitals Charity.
Banksy had previously claimed that the $ 9.9 million earned in his parliamentary Devolve painting, which shows that the House of Representatives is full of baboons, is the highest paid for one of his paintings.
“Thank You For All You Do”
The artwork was brought to the hospital in May with the caption: “Thank you for all you do. I hope this illuminates the area a little, even if it’s just black and white.”
It hung near the emergency department and staff told the BBC that at times it helped to help boost morale.
A reproduction of the canvas will remain on display at the hospital.
Auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen said Banksy’s pledge to donate the proceeds to the NHS was “an incredible gesture” and described the sale as a “historic moment”.
A pre-sale estimate of £2.5m to £3.5m had been placed on the work.
The photo shows a young boy kneeling and playing with a nurse’s superhero doll, complete with a cape, while Batman and Spider-Man are lying in a trash can nearby.
Prior to the auction, Christie said the paintings provided a “picture of hope” and represented “respect for those who continue to transform and fight the pandemic”.