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Record-breaking Banksy 'NHS superhero' painting sold for £16.7m with proceeds going to charity

The painting titled Game Changer has set a new Banksy record

  • Seb Wheeler
  • 24 March 2021
Record-breaking Banksy 'NHS superhero' painting sold for £16.7m with proceeds going to charity

Banksy's painting of a child playing with a NHS nurse superhero toy has set a record for the artist by selling at auction for £16.7m.

Game Changer was a gift from Banksy to Southampton general hospital. He delivered the artwork last summer with a note that said “thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”

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The painting hung in the hospital until it was decided to auction the work in order to raise money for health charities during the pandemic. A copy now hangs in its place.

Game Changer was sold at Christies after what's reported to be "lengthy" internet and phone bidding. The work was estimated at £2.3m-3.5m but went for £14.4m, with the figure hitting £16.7m after fees.

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Proceeds will go to UK health organisations and charities that enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS. A large portion of the buyer's premium will also be donated.

David French, interim chief executive officer of University Hospital Southampton Trust, said: “This 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.

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“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.”

Banksy's previous record is £9.9m, set by Devolved Parliament in 2019.

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