Bidding on $50 Banksy painting tops $310,000

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This undated photo provided by Housing Works shows a painting, which includes an addition to the scene by the secretive British graffiti artist Banksy. After buying a painting of a pastoral scene for $50, Banksy donated it back to the Housing Works thrift shop in New York where he bought it— but only after reworking it, adding a Nazi soldier to the scene. The 23rd Street Housing Works store is auctioning the painting. By Wednesday morning, Oct. 30, 2013, bidding reached $211,000. (AP Photo/Housing Works)

NEW YORK (AP) — Bidding on a painting that British graffiti artist Banksy bought for $50 and altered has climbed to more than $310,000.

Banksy added a Nazi soldier into the pastoral scene after he purchased the painting at a Manhattan thrift shop. He donated it back to the 23rd Street Housing Works store on Tuesday.

The store put it up for auction the same day.

The auction ends Thursday at 8 p.m.

Proceeds will benefit Housing Works' homelessness and AIDS initiatives.

As he does with all his works, the elusive artist posted the image on his website. He titled it, "The banality of the banality of evil."

On Sunday, Banksy posted an essay on his website calling the design of 1 World Trade Center, the skyscraper being built at ground zero, a "disaster."