Auction house Sotheby’s got “Banksy-ed” after one of the mysterious artist’s pieces suddenly shredded itself as it sold for a million pounds.
The framed, stencil spray painting Girl With Balloon – one of Banksy’s most widely recognised works – had just sold for £1.042m in London on Friday night when the canvas suddenly passed through a shredder installed in the frame.
As shocked onlookers watched, the 2006 piece was left dangling in pieces from the bottom of the frame.
“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe.
Posting a picture of the moment on Instagram, Banksy wrote: “Going, going, gone…”
Girl With Balloon, which shows a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon, first appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London.
The gallery version featured spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on a board.
It had been the final piece sold on Friday night’s auction, equalling Banksy’s previous auction record of £1.04 million.
Bristol-born artist Banksy came to prominence through a series of satirical graffiti pieces that appeared on buildings across the country.
Other works by the artist, whose identity has never been officially revealed, included the opening of Dismaland, his dystopian, Disneyland-esque theme park in 2015, which he described as a “family theme park unsuitable for children”.