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An anonymous British artist who goes by the nickname Banksy donated three paintings to help a hospital in Bethlehem.
The paintings, which fetched £2.2 million (around ¥305 million), were auctioned off in London by auction house Sotheby’s. The money raised from the auction will be used to buy equipment for children’s rehabilitation and build a new stroke unit for the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation.
The artwork called Mediterranean Sea View 2017 consists of 19th century-style seascape paintings that were reworked by Banksy. The artist added abandoned lifejackets and buoys on the old oil paintings in honor of migrants that traveled through the Mediterranean Sea to European Union countries in the last decade.
The paintings were originally created for the artist’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem.
Prior to the auction, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art for Europe said that the three paintings were kept in the auction house’s galleries with other works by some of the world’s greatest landscape painters. He believes that Banksy’s paintings stood out because of their potent political message.
Banksy is known for making various kinds of art with controversial political themes. Despite his fame, his real identity remains undisclosed.
The artist started out doing street art but has expanded to other mediums such as paintings, films, and even a huge exhibition featuring a dystopian theme park. His latest work was an illustration about the spread of Covid-19 inside a London Underground train.