Devolved Parliament: Banksy painting depicting British MPs as chimps sells for record price

Banksy's Devolved Parliament sold for a record price
Banksy's Devolved Parliament sold for a record price Photo credit: Instagram/Banksy

A painting by Banksy depicting MPs in the House of Commons as chimpanzees has sold for almost $20 million - a record for the controversial British artist. 

The painting, called Devolved Parliament, was expected to fetch between $3-4 million, but sold for over five times that at Sotheby's in London on Thursday, local time. 

Although it was painted over 10 years ago, Sotheby's put a Brexit spin on the marketing of the piece. 

"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."

Devolved Parliament is Banksy's biggest work on canvas and was first exhibited in Bristol Museum in 2009. 

The painting was bought and then sold by an anonymous bidder and Banksy, whose identity still remains a secret, posted on Instagram it was a shame he didn't own it. 

"Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight. Shame I didn't still own it."

After Devolved Parliament went on display in March this year, Banksy wrote on Instagram: 'Devolved Parliament. I made this 10 years ago. Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day.'

His post ended with the quote: "Laugh now, but one day no-one will be in charge."

The piece was part of Sotheby's first online sale for the elusive artist. 

Last year Banksy caused controversy after his 'Girl with a Balloon' self-shredded after being sold at auction.