Banksy has donated a triptych of paintings referencing the European refugee crisis to a charity auction, which will raise funds for a Bethlehem hospital.
The works, titled “Mediterranean Sea View 2017”, are estimated between £ 800,000 and £ 1.2m.
Originally created for Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem – where they’ve been on display since it opened – the paintings add abandoned life jackets and buoys to 19th-century-style seascapes.
The triptych will appear in the Sotheby’s Rembrant evening sale in Richter on July 28.
Proceeds will be used to build a new acute stroke unit and purchase children’s rehabilitation equipment for the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation.
Alex Branczik, Head of Contemporary Art for Europe at Sotheby’s, said: “In Mediterranean Sea View 2017, Banksy corrupts three found oil paintings with his own spiritual rework to create something that, while being passing for a 19th century seascape highlights one of the challenges of the 21st century.
“From Rembrandt to Richter, this triptych hangs in the galleries of Sotheby’s alongside works by some of history’s greatest landscape painters, including Bellotto, Van Goyen and Turner.
“Banksy’s work, however, stands alone for its powerful political message.”
Banksy’s latest stunt in the UK involved spraying a London Underground wagon with messages about the spread of the coronavirus.
The Bristol artist uploaded images captioned “If you don’t mask, you don’t get” to social media last week, which showed him spray painting a Circle Line train with stenciled representations of his iconic rats.
One creature appeared to sneeze pale blue droplets of virus through a car window, while another struggled under a face mask. Another used the protective equipment as a parachute.
Hours later, however, TfL announced that the work had been removed “a few days ago due to our strict anti-graffiti policy.” A spokesperson for Tfl said Banksy was welcome to recreate his post “in an appropriate place”.
“We appreciate the feeling of encouraging people to wear face coverings, which the vast majority of customers in our transportation network do,” the spokesperson said.
Additional reporting by the Press Association