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Massive Attack auction rare Banksy prints for charity

The money will go some way to making up for the UK government's decision to reduce spending on international aid

Massive Attack have auctioned two rare prints by elusive UK street artist Banksy, raising more than £140,000 for charities in the process. 

The pair of works — I Fought The Law and Bomb Middle England — were bought for £71,000 and £70,000 respectively. The sale was held by the street art collective Vanguard, and far exceeded the estimates of £100,000 for both pieces. 

Band member Grant 'Daddy G' Marshall donated the items, and money raised will now go to Aid Box Community (ABC) and Temwa. The latter works for water, food security, sanitation and education in northern Malawi, and lost a £250,000 grant as a result of the UK reducing its annual aid budget by approximately £4billion. 

“When we heard about the government funding Temwa lost earlier this year with the UK aid cuts, and the importance of the work Temwa does in Malawi, we felt compelled to help,” Marshall told the BBC. “Selling the Banksy prints via the Vanguard charity auction seemed an easy way to help raise some urgent funds needed.”

According to a spokesperson from the organisation, this cash will now be used to purchase fruit and agroforestry trees. Meanwhile, ABC is a humanitarian organisation based in Bristol focused on the refugee crisis, and will use the money to provide asylum seekers with support and supplies. 

Last year, Banksy — whose real identity remains a mystery but some people believe to be the alter-ego of Massive Attack member Robert '3D' Del Najafinanced a boat designed to rescue refugees attempting to enter Europe via the Mediterranean, a journey estimated to have resulted in 40,555 deaths between 1993 and 2020. The vessel is named Louise Michel, after the French feminist and anarchist.