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26 February 2024

England's football defeats sold for $646,000

Former England football captain David Beckham and his wife Victoria (R) pose on the red carpet as they attend the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2014 in London on November 30, 2014. (File: AFP)


A granite monument with every defeat ever suffered by the England football team over 124 years engraved on it sold for $646,000 on Tuesday.

The gloomy sculpture by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was sold to an anonymous French-speaking bidder at a Sotheby's auction in London.

"Carved into it are all the defeats of England's national football team. I guess it's a piece which talks about pride, missed opportunities and death," said Cattelan.

Its list of defeats begins with England's 1874 2-1 defeat to Scotland, and spans infamous games such as the 1986 2-1 loss to Argentina, remembered for Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal.

Carved in 1999, the untitled artwork ends with Romania's 2-1 victory at the 1998 World Cup.

Its sale comes in the wake of one of England's worst ever performances in a World Cup in 2014, in which the team lost to Italy and Uruguay and crashed out without a single win.

Cattelan is known for humorous and satirical works, including one sculpture that shows Pope John Paul II struck by a meteorite.

His comment on England's footballing woes was sold at Sotheby's "Bear Witness" auction of a collection of 550 artworks that has so far raised £26.5 million (37.3 million euros, $40 million).