Banksy's painting of UK Parliament as chimpanzees could break auction record for the artist

The painting is expected to sell for a record-high for the artist.

September 17, 2019, 12:22 PM

A painting by the illustrious and elusive artist Banksy, depicting Britain's parliament as chimpanzees, will soon go up for auction -- but not without one last dig at the artwork’s subjects.

"Devolved Parliament," showing apes as members of the House of Commons, will be put up for auction on Oct. 3 and displayed in London at Sotheby’s auction house, just a mile away from the Commons chamber, according to a press release from Sotheby’s.

The auction date comes ahead of the rescheduled Brexit day, which was meant to happen on March 29 but was postponed until Oct. 31 as lawmakers continue to squabble over plans for Britain to leave the European Union.

"Regardless of where you sit in the Brexit debate, there’s no doubt that this work is more pertinent now than it has ever been, capturing unprecedented levels of political chaos and confirming Banksy as the satirical polemicist of our time," Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, said in a statement.

In this March 28, 2019, file photo, the painting 'Devolved Parliament' by the graffiti artist Banksy, is shown.
Steve Parsons/AP, FILE

The 2009 painting, which stands at 13 feet, is expected to sell for an estimated 1.5 to 2 million euros, a record-breaking number for Banksy.

His last piece auctioned off, "Girl With Balloon," sold for 1,042,000 pounds. The current auction record for the Bristol-born artist is 1.4 million euros for "Keep it Spotless."

The "Girl With Balloon" painting famously self-destructed moments after it was auctioned off, shredding it into pieces.

"Devolved Parliament" was previously on display at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery on March 29, the original day the U.K. was meant to leave the EU.

Banksy commented on the museum’s decision to put the piece up, writing on Instagram, "I made this ten years ago. Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day. ‘Laugh now, but one day no-one will be in charge.’"

The chimpanzee art will be on display at Sotheby’s from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3 and put up for auction the evening of Oct. 3 at the art dealer company’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction.