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Banksy’s migrant crossing paintings fetch £2.2 million in charity sale

Aaron Chown

By Tom Horton, PA

A triptych of Banksy paintings which reference the European migrant crisis have sold for £2.2 million in a charity auction.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to help build a new acute stroke unit and purchase children’s rehabilitation equipment for Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation.

The paintings, titled Mediterranean Sea View 2017, were originally estimated to sell for between £800,000 and £1.2 million in the Sotheby’s sale.

The works depict romantic seascapes and added abandoned lifejackets and buoys in reference to the deaths of migrants travelling to the European Union.

The oil paintings were originally created for Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, where they have hung since its opening in 2017.

The hotel, which overlooks the West Bank wall dividing Bethlehem, bills itself as having “the worst view of any hotel in the world” and is filled with original Banksy artwork.

The reclusive artist’s latest stunt saw him graffiti the inside of a London Underground train carriage with messages about the spread of coronavirus.

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