Banksy's Nazi painting raises $615,000 in online charity auction

The charity shop painting that Banksy added a Nazi officer to, before returning it to the store it was purchased from, has raised thousands in an online auction.

Banksy charity shop painting
The work takes its name from a book on the trial of Adolf Eichmann

The work, originally bought for just $50, sold for $615,000 in aid of Housing Works - a HIV/AIDS charity in New York's Gramercy Park.

The piece was purchased by an unidentified buyer at the charity's shop, before being returned by a mystery woman on Tuesday (October 29).

"She said the painting is worth a lot of money and that someone will contact us about it," Housing Works' spokesperson Rebecca Edmondson told Bloomberg.

The store was then called by a member of Banksy's team, who confirmed the work as genuine and explained that Banksy wished them to auction it.

The painting, entitled The Banality of the Banality of Evil, is a classic landscape of a snow-topped mountain and river, to which the artist has added a contemplative Nazi officer.

It takes its title from Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, a book by Hannah Arendt, who covered Holocaust organiser Adolf Eichmann's trial for the New Yorker.

The move comes at the end of Banksy's month-long residency in New York, titled Better Out Than In. The artist has caused a stir in the city with a number of highly-publicised exhibitions and installations, including offering his $30,000 artworks for just $60.

However, the final day of the residency was marred by the arrest of two men, who had attempted to steal Banksy's parting gift to New York - a graffiti-style balloon of his name.

Banksy Balloon New York
Two men were caught trying to stuff the balloons into the back of their car

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