By Nazanine Nouri
Sotheby’s is holding an online auction of the original book art from “Persepolis,” the bestselling graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi.
As part of the online auction, to take place from Oct. 19 to Oct. 25, 44 original sheets from Volume I of “Persepolis” will be auctioned off at between 4,000 and 6,000 pounds per sheet (roughly $4,500 to $6,700).
“Persepolis,” published in 2000, is today considered one of the most successful graphic novels of all time. It has sold millions of copies around the world and been translated into multiple languages.
It tells the story of the 1979 Islamic Revolution through the eyes of a young girl called Marji whose daily life is turned upside down. She suddenly finds herself living in a country where a strict dress code is imposed on girls and women, and where the headscarf becomes mandatory.
The Sotheby’s auction of the “Persepolis” sheets coincides with nationwide protests in Iran sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested and taken into custody by the morality police because a few strands of her hair were showing underneath her headscarf. The monthlong demonstrations were begun by young girls and women tearing off their headscarves and waving them around or burning them in the streets.
Satrapi said she decided six months ago, in conversation with Sotheby’s, that she would put up her original book art for auction this fall.
“I could never have imagined it would be in the context of the incredible scenes we are seeing in Iran today,” she said in a statement issued by the auctioneer. “When I set out to write my story, I also could not have imagined that its message would be so universal.”
“The proceeds from the sale will enable me to self-fund a future project and have the freedom to pursue it on my own terms,” she added.
Satrapi will be taking part in a conversation about “Persepolis” at the Sotheby’s headquarters on New Bond Street in London on Sunday Oct. 23.