Moments after it was sold for over Β£1million, Banksy artwork self-destructs at auction

A famous painting of the elusive street-artist Banksy shredded itself only moments after it was sold at an auction for more than a whopping £1 million. Yes, a move many are describing as the ‘most audacious pranks in art history'.

The surprising incident took place at London's noted auction houses, Sotheby's, where a stencil spray painting of Banksy's most iconic images ‘Girl With Red Balloon' was up for sale. But moments after the final hammer went down, a shredder installed within the frame cut the print into narrow strips. The move left everyone in the room in a frenzy - some were shocked, others couldn't stop applauding the artist for his brilliance.

The 2006 artwork, which shows a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon sold for £1.042m on Friday night, the BBC reported.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed," said Alex Branczik, Sotheby's senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe, as quoted by The Telegraph.

Online, people couldn't love the prank any more, with many calling it the most Banksy-like move who doesn't like selling his artworks. However, many speculated this would actually increase the value of the painting.

"It was not clear whether the artist had attended the auction in person to deliver the coup de grâce to his work," the Financial Times reported. "We have not experienced this situation in the past . . . where a painting spontaneously shredded, upon achieving a [near-]record for the artist. We are busily figuring out what this means in an auction context," Branczik told FT.

Sotheby's in a statement said: "We have talked with the successful purchaser who was surprised by the story. We are in discussion about next steps."


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