Sothebys are offering a black granite monument, like an epitaph on a memorial, engraved with every occasion the England football team has lost a game. The untitled work by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is estimated at £400,000-600,000 as part of the single-owner Bear Witness sale.

He first exhibited the monument at a London show in 1999 and the roll-call of shame stretches from from Scotland’s 2-1 defeat of England in Glasgow in 1874 to Romania’s 2-1 victory at the 1998 World Cup (it is lucky it doesn’t include defeats since, or the world supply of granite could be under threat).

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“I guess it’s a piece which talks about pride, missed opportunities and death,” said Cattelan, enfant terrible of the art world, known for his satirical and humorous sculptures.


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