While many have praised the bravery of healthcare workers amid the coronavirus crisis, few have communicated their heroism as effectively as Banksy. The famous street artist surprised an NHS hospital with a unique donation: a black-and-white painting that places a nurse in the same league as Batman and Spiderman.
Along with the artwork, Banksy sent a note to the staff of Southampton General Hospital. "Thanks for all you're doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white," it read.
The painting shows a young boy playing with a nurse-styled action figure, having it fly like Superman, cape and all. Nearby, a toy basket shows two other superheroes, Batman and Spiderman, discarded in favor of the nurse.
Paula Head, CEO of the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, told the BBC that Banksy's contribution meant a lot. "Our hospital family has been directly impacted with the tragic loss of much loved and respected members of staff and friends," she said. "The fact that Banksy has chosen us to recognize the outstanding contribution everyone in and with the NHS is making, in unprecedented times, is a huge honor."
The artwork has been installed on Level C of the hospital, for both staffers and patients to enjoy. It will remain there until the fall, when it will be auctioned off to benefit the NHS. "It will no doubt also be a massive boost to morale for everyone who works and is cared for at our hospital," Head added.
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