Banksy Painting Honoring UK Healthcare Workers Sells for Record-breaking $23 Million
Graffiti artist Banksy's painting that honors healthcare workers amid the pandemic has now sold, with proceeds benefiting British public health charities.
According to famous auction house Christie's, the piece, titled "Game Changer," sold for $23,176,314 on Tuesday — a world auction record for Banksy, Christie's said.
The painting depicts a young boy playing with a toy nurse whose arms are outstretched as if she were flying through the sky. In the background, a garbage bin is filled with the boy's Batman and Spider-Man action figures.
Proceeds from the sale of the artwork, the auction house said in a press release, will be used to "support health organizations and charities across the UK that enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS."
Banksy originally gifted the piece to the University Hospital Southampton in England in May 2020, where it was on display at the entrance of the facility's emergency department. A replica of the painting remains on display at the University Hospital Southampton.
When he dropped off the painting last year, the mysterious artist left a note for the hospital's staff to express his gratitude for their efforts during the pandemic. "Thanks for all you're doing," the note read. "I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white."
David French, interim CEO at University Hospital Southampton, said in a statement that the "incredible gift" will be "invaluable in helping us to focus on promoting and protecting the welfare of our staff as they heal and recover from the last year."
"As a charitable gift it ensures our staff have a say in how money is spent to benefit them, our patients and our community and is a fantastic way to thank and reward them for the sacrifices they've made," added French.
This story originally appeared on People.com.