- A monument to England's football failure is set to go on auction in London
- Maurizio Cattelan's sculpture chronicles every England defeat between 1874 and 1998
- The black granite artwork is expected to fetch up to $900,000
The auction house is offering an untitled work by Italian sculptor Maurizio Cattelan that chronicles -- in painstaking and painful detail if you are English -- every defeat suffered by the England team between 1874 and 1998.
Cattelan has carved all the defeats into a large (and it would have to be, wouldn't it?) piece of black granite, meaning the lucky buyer can be constantly reminded of a succession of ignominious afternoons and evenings.
The artist says of his memorial stone-style work simply: "I guess it's a piece which talks about pride, missed opportunities and death."
Known for his humorous and satirical art, Cattelan had plenty to work with as he recorded defeats starting with a 2-1 loss to Scotland in Glasgow in 1874 and ending with another 2-1 setback against Romania at the 1998 World Cup.
Since then, of course, he'd have had a fair few more to immortalize, including the two to Italy and Uruguay in Brazil last summer that were part of the worst-ever England display at a World Cup.
The artist, whose other works include La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), which depicts Pope John Paul II being struck down by a meteorite, first put his football piece on display at an exhibition in London in 1999.
It's not known whether any England managers and players, past or present, came along to have a sneaky look.
Current England boss Roy Hodgson is known to be a bit of an Italophile, but the former Inter Milan coach needs to be quick if he wants catch a glimpse -- Cattelan's work is on public exhibition at Sotheby's New Bond Street galleries until Tuesday 10 March. It will then be offered as part of the single-owner 'Bear Witness' sale.