protesters from a group called arts against cuts (consisting of artists and students protesting the UK government’s plans for massive cuts to public services and the arts in the UK) hijacked the sotheby’s contemporary art auction. timing was on the spot: the protest began in parallel with the bidding on warhol’s nine multicolored marilyns.

excerpt from london evening standard:

nearly a dozen intruders set off alarms and threw fake £50 notes in the air at sotheby’s before unfurling a large banner bearing the words “orgy of the rich”.
auctioneer tobias meyer had just proclaimed the warhol piece as lot 36 when the moaning started, stopping proceedings as the 1,000-strong room turned to look at the banner.
a protester calling himself matt said: “it is obscene that the amount of money being spent at this auction could be the difference between having some form of local services which exists in the community and not.”
belgian collector mark vanmoerkerke said the auction house took the interruption in its stride. he said: “it’s fun to see people stand up for what they believe in. an orgy of the rich? they’re not exactly wrong.”

the warhol eventually sold for £3.2 million, but watch the reaction of sotheby’s staff & public, when the calling price of 2 million was announced, right after the protesters had been evicted from the auction room. point well made, wouldn’t u agree?

(see also hyperallergic‘s coverage of the protest)