Oct. 3 (UPI) — An oil painting by anonymous graffiti artist Banksy sold for $12.21 million at a London auction Thursday, a record haul for the mysterious artist, Sotheby’s announced.
The 2009 painting, Devolved Parliament, features Britain’s House of Commons occupied by dozens of chimpanzees.
Banksy originally called the 13-foot painting Question Time for an exhibit at the Bristol Museum. It gained new fame — and a new name — March 29 when the museum put it back on display to mark Brexit day, the day Britain was supposed to formally withdraw from the European Union.
“I made this ten years ago. Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day,” Banksy said on Instagram at the time. “Laugh now, but one day no-one will be in charge.”
The $12.21 million winning bid was nearly 10 times the previous record for a Banksy artwork. His Girl with Balloon painting, which self-destructed through a shredder built into the frame, sold for $1.4 million in October 2018.
Banksy posted a quote by art critic Robert Hughes about the value and purpose of art on his Instagram after the auction Thursday.
“Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight,” Banksy captioned the post. “Shame I didn’t still own it.”