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Banksy Sells Rare Rat Prints To Raise Money For Ukraine


Topline

Banksy is selling off a series of rare screen prints to raise money for an organization helping civilians affected by the war in Ukraine, where last month murals by the pseudonymous street artist popped up overnight.

Key Facts

Banksy announced on their official Instagram account they had partnered with nonprofit Legacy of War to sell off prints to raise money for the international charity, which helps civilians in areas like Ukraine, Rwanda and Lebanon recover from war.

Some 50 signed and numbered prints mounted on wooden frames will be available for about $6,131 each, according to the Legacy of War, and potential customers must register their interest online before a computer program selects successful applicants.

The print features an image of a rat—a recurring theme in Banksy’s work—sliding down the side of a cardboard box that reads “FRAGILE.”

Because Banksy will be “attacking every print with a sharpened pizza cutter,” each work is unique and will differ slightly from others, the foundation said.

Proceeds will be used by Legacy of War to purchase new ambulances and support vehicles, fund generators, gas heaters and solar power lights for Ukrainian communities without electricity and help support shelters in Kyiv for women and the LGBTQ community.

Banksy said in a statement they connected with Legacy of War during their trip to Ukraine last month, during which they said they saw the group helping civilians.

Surprising Fact

Banksy says Legacy of War even lent them an ambulance to work out of in Ukraine, which came in handy after someone the artist described as “an angry babushka” found them painting on her building and called the police. “I feel the least I should do is raise enough money to replace the number plates on the ambulance I hotted up,” Banksy said.

Key Background

Last month Banksy traveled to Ukraine and completed a series of eight murals on the sides of buildings damaged by Russian forces. The images show figures doing everyday tasks in extreme circumstances, like a little girl doing gymnastic amid rubble and an elderly man bathing on the side of a bombed-out building. Last week, a group of people were arrested by Ukranian police after they were caught trying to cut out a wall one of the murals was affixed to. Police said the work was unharmed, an official declared that the Banksy works are a “symbol of the struggle” against the Russian invasion and are under police protection. Last year, another Banksy print was auctioned off for Ukraine, and raised more than $100,000 for a children’s hospital in Kyiv.

Big Number

$24.5 million. That’s how much Banksy’s most expensive work sold for at auction in April.

Further Reading

Theft Of Banksy Mural In Ukraine Foiled By Police (Forbes)

Shredded Banksy Artwork Sold For Record $24.5 Million(Forbes)

Banksy Tells Shoplifters To Steal From Guess, Says Company ‘Helped Themselves To My Artwork’ (Forbes)

A Banksy For Ukraine: All $106,505 Of Rare Print’s Proceeds Donated T0 Kyiv Children’s Hospital (Forbes)





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