The street artist’s work sells for millions while his controversial migrant rescue mission aimed to be a wakeup call for Europe

This year may have been one to forget for most people, but for Banksy it has been 12 months in which he has continued a seemingly irrepressible rise from street artist to cultural phenomenon.

In September, after six months of uncertainty in the art market as fairs closed and sales slumped, he bucked the trend. Banksy’s impressionist pastiche Show Me the Monet sold for £7.5m at Sotheby’s – £2.5m above its most optimistic estimate – while a year earlier his piece Devolved Parliament sold for just under £9.9m.

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