Banksy to sell paintings estimated at £1.2m to raise money for Bethlehem Hospital

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The secret artist British artist Banksy has auctioned off a set of three paintings, estimated at £1.2million, with proceeds from the sale going to a hospital in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.

The 2017 Mediterranean Sea View triptych will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London on July 28 in an auction titled ‘Rembrandt to Richter’.

The paintings are estimated at between £800,000 and 1.2 million ($1 million to $1.5 million), according to Sotheby’s.

Funds raised from the sale will be donated to a new acute stroke unit and to purchase rehabilitation equipment for children for BASR Hospital in Bethlehem, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday.

The images show romantic-era seascapes to which Banksy has added his own details.

“Banksy reworked the original compositions by adding a multitude of hand-painted life jackets and buoys; a visual amendment that evokes mass death at sea,” Southerbys said.

The paintings came as a commentary on the European migrant crisis over the past decade which has seen tens of thousands of people attempt to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea in often inadequate watercraft. Many failed and drowned along the way.

Banksy created the paintings in 2017 for his Walled Off hotel in Bethlehem, which is billed as having “the worst view of any hotel in the world”, overlooking Israel’s security fence. They hung above a fireplace in the hotel, which houses the largest collection of Banksy works on public display.

Israel began building the security barrier – partly concrete, with other sections made up of fences – during the second intifada to stop suicide attacks by Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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