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Banksy painting sells for nearly $10M US at auction

Show Me the Monet sold to an unidentified bidder at Sotheby's in London on Wednesday evening, surpassing its upper pre-sale estimate of about $6.5 million US.

Painting sold to unidentified bidder at Sotheby's in London

A member of staff poses in front of a work of art by Banksy entitled Show Me The Monet at Sotheby's auction house in London. The painting was sold for just under $10 million US, surpassing its upper pre-sale estimate of about $6.5 million US. (Alastair Grant/Associated Press)

Banksy's playful take on a famous Impressionist painting has sold at auction for $9.8 million US, the second-highest price ever paid for a work by the British street artist.

Show Me the Monet sold to an unidentified bidder at Sotheby's in London on Wednesday evening, surpassing its upper pre-sale estimate of about $6.5 million US.

In the 2005 work, Banksy added abandoned shopping carts and an orange traffic cone to Claude Monet's image of water lilies in his garden at Giverny.

Alex Branczik, Sotheby's European head of contemporary art, said the work was one of the "strongest and most iconic" Banksy works to appear at auction.

Banksy, whose real name has never been officially confirmed, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has become one of the world's best-known artists.

Another Banksy work, Devolved Parliament, sold last year at Sotheby's in London for about $13 million US. Earlier this month, his graffiti-style piece Forgive Us Our Trespassing sold for $8.3 million at Sotheby's in Hong Kong.

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