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PR stunt of the year? £1M Banksy artwork self-shreds at Sothebys Auction

By on Saturday, October 6, 2018

A Banksy artwork “self-destructed” last night at a Sotheby’s auction in London after it was sold.

His famous artwork “Girl with a Balloon” was the final lot of the evening sale at Sotheby’s and was sold for £1,042,000.

However, in a twist to be expected from street art’s elusive maverick, as the gavel went down the canvas began sliding downwards through a shredder installed in the frame.

“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art.

Posting a picture of the moment on Instagram, Banksy wrote: “Going, going, gone…”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Going, going, gone…

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

The 2006 piece was shown dangling in pieces from the bottom of the frame.

Art officials rushed in to take the artwork from the wall in a failed bid to save it.

The Guardian said ‘Banksy has played what could be one of the most audacious pranks in art history.’

Auctioneer Oliver Barker said of the shredding: “A brilliant Banksy moment!”.

Critics are speculating that the stunt will have enhanced the value of the work.

Sotheby’s said in a statement to the Financial Times: “We have talked with the successful purchaser who was surprised by the story. We are in discussion about next steps.”

UPDATE:

Here’s how he did it

Sources; BBC, Evening Standard and The Independent.

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