Banksy to auction Southampton Hospital painting to raise money for the NHS

A Banksy artwork currently residing at Southampton General Hospital is being put up for auction to raise money for the NHS.Last May the piece, titled Game Changer, appeared at the hospital as a gift to staff to thank them for their hard work during the pandemic. It shows a young boy playing with a nurse superhero toy rather than his Batman and Spiderman toys.The artwork was displayed on Level C of the building and came with a note for the hospital staff reading: “I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”Now, Banksy is auctioning the original canvas to raise funds for the NHS, with a reproduction of the work to remain in the hospital.The painting, which is 1m x 1m in size, is expected to sell for between £2.5m and £3.5m at auction.Auction house Christie’s said the painting “offers an image of hope” and represents a “personal tribute to those who continue to turn the tide of the pandemic”.It will go on display at Christie’s from 8 to 15 March, with the auction taking place on 23 March.Independent Culture NewsletterThe best in film, music TV & radio straight to your inbox every weekIndependent Culture NewsletterThe best in film, music TV & radio straight to your inbox every weekLast week, Banksy confirmed that he was behind a newly emerged graffiti artwork on Reading prison, which shows a prisoner escaping from the Berkshire prison using a bedsheet fashioned into a rope.The bedsheets, meanwhile, are tied to a typewriter, leading many to suggest that the painting shows Oscar Wilde, who was imprisoned at the prison between 1895 and 1897.

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