We may never know for sure whether Massive Attack’s Robert ‘3D’ Del Najais actually Banksy, but what we do know is that the Bristol trip hop band has been holding onto some very rare prints by the street artist. On Friday (October 29), the group let two of these prints go to raise more than £140,000 for charity.
Titled Bomb Middle England and I Fought The Law, the prints from the early 2000s sold for £70,000 and £71,000 respectively in an auction held by the street art collective Vanguard, exceeding a joint estimate of £100,000. Following their donation by Massive Attack’s Grant ‘Daddy G’ Marshall, the money raised will go to the charities Temwa and Aid Box Community (ABC).
Earlier this year, Temwa — which helps to provide food security, water, sanitation, and education in northern Malawi — lost a £250,000 grant due to the UK cutting its annual aid budget by around £4 billion.
“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,” says Marshall (via the BBC). “Selling the Banksy prints via the Vanguard charity auction seemed an easy way to help raise some urgent funds needed.”
According to the director of Temwa, Jo Hook, the proceeds from the auction will go “directly towards purchasing large numbers of fruit trees and agro-forestry trees”.
Aid Box Community, meanwhile, is a Bristol-based humanitarian organisation that was launched in 2015, in response to the ongoing refugee crisis. The organisation provides support, supplies, and sanctuary to hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers from its headquarters in Massive Attack’s hometown.
Take a closer look at the Banksy artworks that raised £141,000 for Temwa and Aid Box Community in East Bristol Auction’s Instagram post below.