$900,000 monument to England’s football failure

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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

CNN  — 

If you enjoy laughing at the England football team – calling all Germans and Scots – and you have a spare $900,000, then Sotheby’s has the very thing for you.

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.