One of the world's best-known graffiti artists, Banksy, said Tuesday that he has raised 4.5 million rubles ($146,000) for the Russian radical art group Voina, or War, whose members face jail time over their street performances.
Britain-based Banksy will donate to Voina royalties from a limited series of his prints, some of which were sold online and some through a London shop last week at £450 ($710) apiece, said a statement on the web site Picturesonwalls.com.
The prints, depicting a hooded man with a barking cartoonish dog on a leash, were sold out, the statement said. It was unclear when the money would be transferred to Voina members.
Leonid Nikolayev and Oleg Vorotnikov of Voina face up to seven years in jail on hooliganism charges for flipping over police cars, some with officers in them, during an anti-corruption performance in downtown St. Petersburg in September. The group's leader, Alexei Plutser-Sarno, fled to Estonia last month, fearing prosecution.
The artist behind the alias Banksy keeps his real identity hidden, but his street art, usually displaying a streak of political satire that Voina could relate to, has earned him worldwide recognition over the 2000s, and his art fetches millions of dollars at auctions.