Banksy Sets Record As NHS Charities Benefit
While NFTs have dominated the art world as of late, it was the sale of a more traditional piece of art by one of the generation's most popular artists that made the news yesterday.
Banksy's "Game Changer" sold for more than $23 million yesterday at Christie's 20th Century Art Evening Sale, marking a new world auction record for the artist. Proceeds from the auction will be used to fund health organizations and charities across the UK that enhance the care and treatment provided by Britain's National Health Service.
Game Changer was installed in University Hospital Southampton last May as a thank you from Banksy to staff for their work during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and was intended to be auctioned. A reproduction of the piece—which features a boy playing with a doll of a Red Cross nurse as Batman and Spiderman dolls lie on the floor, will be displayed in University Hospital Southampton.
"This incredible gift will be invaluable in helping us to focus on promoting and protecting the welfare of our staff as they heal and recover from the last year," University Hospital Southampton interim CEO David French said. "As a charitable gift it ensures our staff have a say in how money is spent to benefit them, our patients and our community and is a fantastic way to thank and reward them for the sacrifices they've made."
The previous record for a work by Banksy was set in 2019, when his depiction of British politicians as chimpanzees debating in the House of Commons titled "Devolved Parliament" sold for $12.2 million.
"Banksy is an extraordinary artist who is a constant barometer of nationwide sentiment," said Katharine Arnold, Christie's Co-Head, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Europe. "With the perfect image of a little boy playing with his superhero doll; a nurse sporting the international Red Cross, he perfectly captured the essence of this moment in time."
With NFTs causing a frenzy as of late, it's a piece of artwork by Banksy stealing the news this week as it sells for a good cause.
Microsoft reportedly eyes Discord acquisition. According to GamesBeat, chat service Discord, which is popular in the gaming community, is seeking a sale that could value the company at more than $10 billion. Microsoft is reportedly the lead suitor for the company as Amazon, Twitter or Google could also potentially be interested. Discord raised $140 million in December at a $7 billion valuation and has more than 140 million monthly active users. "I know they are in active discussions with a select few parties," a source told GamesBeat. "The market is in a state where they could command strong double-digit billions of dollars."
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Lockheed Martin looks to space for 5G. Lockheed Martin and Omnispace have entered into a strategic interest agreement to explore jointly developing 5G capabilities from space. The companies are looking to create the first truly dual-use 5G platform from space for commercial and government missions. "We share a common vision with Omnispace of a space-based 5G global network that would enable users to seamlessly transition between satellite and terrestrial networks — eliminating the need for multiple devices on multiple networks," Lockheed Martin Space executive vice president Rick Ambrose said. "This step forward has the potential to upend space-based mobility."
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Fidelity says wealth managers still learning about cryptos. Head of Fidelity Institutional Mike Durbin said in an interview at Reuters Digital Assets Week that wealth managers and financial advisors are still learning about cryptocurrencies as demand among larger investors has increased. "They know what they are doing, and more importantly their end investor base also knows what they are doing - but the vast majority are still in the education mode," Durbin said. "I think that the growth rate of bitcoin or digital assets will follow in that wake of broader alternative investments."