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Painting raises £45m to aid children’s charities


Painting raises £45m to aid children’s charities
Jafri took inspiration from pictures sent by children from around the world. (GP)

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London – The world’s largest painting, which was created by British artist Sacha Jafri, has been sold for £45m to raise funds for children’s charities.

Jafri spent eight months painting the 1 600 sq m (17 000 sq ft) artwork in a deserted hotel’s ballroom in Dubai.

He planned to sell it in 70 parts, but French cryptocurrency businessman Andre Abdoune has bought the whole work.

The price makes it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at auction by a living artist.

Jafri said the full $62m (£45m) would go to Dubai Cares, Unicef, Unesco and the Global Gift Foundation to help disadvantaged children in countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa.

The 44-year-old artist from London originally hoped to raise $30m (£22m). He told BBC News he was “blown away” to have doubled that.

“I was really overwhelmed by what happened – to raise that amount of money from one painting in one night,” he said.

Jafri started by putting out an appeal for children to send him their pictures representing how they felt during the pandemic. He got responses from 140 countries, which he used for inspiration, he said.

“I was in a deep meditative state. I looked through all the [children’s] work – I paint from the subconscious, and then whatever’s in there comes out. Nothing’s planned. There’s no sketches. There were no drawings.

“I was literally pouring paint, and then putting another layer on top and another layer, another layer, another layer, just feeling my way through it until something magical happened.”

In September, Guinness World Records recognised it as the largest ever art canvas. (BBC)