As The New York Times (NYT) reports, a new Banksy painting is to go up for auction at London’s renowned Sotheby auction house on October 3. The piece titled “Devolved Parliament”, depicting “an animated debate in the House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament, conducted entirely by chimpanzees” is valued between 1.5 and 2 million British pounds. This would certainly be a new high for Banksy, the elusive, anonymous artist.
The 14-feet wide painting was originally shown at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Banksy’s hometown, in March of 2019, ahead of the then planned British exit from the European Union. According to Banksy’s publicist Joanna Brooks, “the painting in question is being sold by the owner who is in no way associated with the artist Banksy.”
Almost exactly a year ago, “Girl With A Balloon” (one of Banksy’s most iconic paintings) went up for auction at Sotheby’s and was sold for 1.4 million pounds, only to then be subsequently shredded in one of the greatest “pranks” ever. Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art in Europe, after Banksy’s sale prank, said that the interest and sales of artists works surged. As he put it, “We’ve been Banksy-ed.”
According to Sotheby, the owner of what remained of the painting, a “female European collector,” was happy to keep the purchase. As NYT adds, the painting, now retitled “Love Is in the Bin,” has since been hanging on long-term loan at the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, Germany and has become a highly valued museum piece.