Protesters' 15 Minutes of Fame at Warhol Auction; Demonstration over Sotheby's [Pounds Sterling]44.5m Sale

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Byline: Rob Parsons And Godfrey Barker

PROTESTERS hijacked an auction in the West end where million of pounds of modern art was being sold to hold a demonstration against cuts to public services.

Nearly a dozen intruders set off alarms and threw fake [pounds sterling]50 notes in the air at sotheby's before unfurling a large banner bearing the words "orgy of the rich".

They started their protest last night with the sound of moaning as Andy Warhol's nine Multicolored Marilyns was unveiled, while others invaded the press seats and made similar noises, boosted by sirens and alarms.

They were quickly evicted, although other protesters were holding a demonstration outside the building in new Bond street featuring a mocked-up auction of public services workers.

The demonstrators, many of whom came in costume and brought along picture frames as props, came from protest groups including Arts Against Cuts, uK uncut and space Hijackers. They held up posters with messages including "1 Warhol = 1,222 tuitions."

The protesters said they targeted the auction house's contemporary art auction because of the high prices commanded for modern art while cuts were being made to public services.

The Warhol piece was sold for [pounds sterling]3. …