Banksy has donated a triptych of oil paintings to raise funds via auction for a hospital in Bethlehem.
The triptych, Mediterranean sea view 2017, has until recently been installed in the lobby of the artist’s ‘Walled Off Hotel’ in Bethlehem, which overlooks the Israeli West Bank barrier separating Israel from the Palestinian territories and is home to the largest collection of Banksy’s work.
Responding to the European migrant crisis of the 2010s, the paintings are 19th-century-style Romantic seascapes, to which Banksy has added abandoned lifejackets and lifebuoys to draw attention to the migrant lives lost at sea during their journey to Europe.
The paintings have been donated to ABCD Bethlehem and are being auctioned by Sotherby’s on 28 July. They are expected to reach between £800,000 and £1.2million, with all proceeds going towards building a new acute stroke unit and purchasing children’s rehabilitation equipment for BASR hospital in Bethlehem.
Banksy’s artworks are being auctioned as part of a one-off auction and exhibition spanning over half a millennium of art history: Rembrandt to Richter.
The sale will take place at 6pm on 28 July, offering over seventy works from artists including Joan Miró, Keith Haring, Francis Bacon, Henri Matisse, Rembrandt, Gerhard Richter, Pablo Picasso, and David Hockney as well as Banksy.
Alex Branczik, Head of Contemporary Art, Europe, said:
“In “Mediterranean sea view 2017”, Banksy corrupts three found oil paintings with his own witty reworkings to create something that, while posing as a 19th-century seascape, spotlights one of the burning issues of the 21st century. In
“Rembrandt to Richter”, this triptych hangs in Sotheby’s galleries alongside works by some of history’s greatest landscape painters, including Bellotto, Van Goyen and Turner. Banksy’s work however stands alone for its potent political message.”
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