Banky's self-destructing painting might be worth twice as much now

Banksy girl with balloon self destruct Sothebys shredder

Banksy posted video of the event on Instagram, which showed stunned auction-goers watching as an alarm sounded before the painting slipped through the frame and shredded roughly half of the canvas into ribbons.

"Banksy didn't destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one", Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art Sotheby's Europe, said in a news release on Thursday confirming that the buyer wouldn't back out.

The 12-year-old painting had just been sold for 1,042,000 pounds ($1.37 million) - matching Banksy's all-time record.

The auction house has declined to reveal the identity of the buyer, a private collector who was bidding through a Sotheby's staff member on the phone.

Banksy rose to prominence through a series of graffiti pieces that appeared on buildings across the country, marked by deeply satirical undertones.

People stared open-mouthed as the painting was shredded and Banksy himself caught the moment as a photo, which he shared on his Instagram account.

Ian Syer, co-Founder of MyArtBroker.com said: "Banksy is unique to the art world".

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The proponent of the latter view, Professor of Philosophy Bence Nanay, noted that the work was not fully destroyed when a hidden device started to shred it after being sold but stopped halfway to produce a Banksy work like no other. Nor is this the first prank that Banksy has played on the public.

The "Girl with a Balloon" image, which first debuted in 2004, has become one of the artist's most iconic creations. On the Sotheby's website, the work was still listed as having sold at £1.04 million at the time this story was published.

"I worked for him for 12 years".

The artwork was signed and dedicated and the vendor acquired it from the artist in 2006, the auction house said.

An owner of a Banksy print, that is allegedly worth more than £40,000, shredded it in a bid to double its value.

Mehdi Ben Cheikh, a Parisian street art specialist, said the stunt was "in the same vein as his performance in NY, which questions and criticises the limits of the art market".

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