As reported by The Guardian a few hours after the piece appeared at the Southampton General Hospital in the southern UK:
“Banksy left a note for hospital workers, saying: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”
After lockdown measures are lifted, the piece – which is approximately one metre square – will be put on public display. It will then be auctioned to raise money for NHS charities, a spokeswoman for Banksy confirmed.
Paula Head, the chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS foundation trust, said: “Here at Southampton, our hospital family has been directly impacted with the tragic loss of much loved and respected members of staff and friends. The fact that Banksy has chosen us to recognise the outstanding contribution everyone in and with the NHS is making, in unprecedented times, is a huge honour.”
“It will be really valued by everyone in the hospital as people get a moment in their busy lives to pause, reflect and appreciate this piece of art. It will no doubt also be a massive boost to morale for everyone who works and is cared for at our hospital.”
Banksy’s handling service Pest Control Office has created one of the most efficient certification systems in the art world. For some time, they have also been active in the second-hand market as an intermediary between sellers and buyers of Banksy’s certified prints and unique studio work. (This has nothing to do with street-art pieces.)
Now it seems like they are taking it to a whole new level with the announced launch of http://www.Bbay.shop. It is an interesting development for the booming secondary market in Banksy artwork, and will hopefully set a new standard for transparency in the art market.
After a 13-minute bidding duel for “Devolved Parliament” at Sotheby’s Evening Sale, a new auction record was set for Banksy with an £8.5 million hammer price. Including the buyer’s premium, the buyer has to cough up with £9.9 million. Banksy did comment the sale a few hours later on his Instagram account:
“Monkey Parliament” was originally exhibited at the “Banksy vs Bristol Museum” in the summer of 2009. The show attracted over 300,000 visitors and was the most visited art exhibition in the UK that year.
The piece is one of Banksy’s largest oil paintings, 4 meters by 2.5 meters. The artwork is on display once again at Bristol Museum for 6 months, from the 28 March to the 1 September 2019.