A work by the elusive street artist self-destructed in front of startled auction-goers on Friday, moments after being sold for 1.04 million pounds ($1.4 million).
Originally the painting was estimated at about 250-400 thousand dollars, but during the auction it was sold for 1.4 million dollars. Sotheby's has described the painting as a "framed work, spray paint and acrylic on canvas", and notes that it's "the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically shredded itself".
The auction house said the artwork had been granted a certificate by Banksy's authentication body and has given a new title, "Love is in the Bin".
But after the head-turning display, commenters on social media surmised that the shredded Girl With Balloon will soar in value, once the shredded pieces are patched back together.
Ian Syer, co-Founder of MyArtBroker.com said: "Banksy is unique to the art world".
And the photos of the man - wearing a cap and sunglasses - were taken before Banksy had even claimed the art as his own.
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"I think Banksy would find this all very amusing", she said.
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. It has since become one of Banksy's most identifiable images in a career that, despite his anonymity, is meant for maximum public view.
The buyer's identity was not revealed.
Palestinian youths next to a wall painted by English graffiti artist Banksy in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Branczik says the new work is "the first in history to have been created live during an auction".
"Rauschenberg erased de Kooning's drawing; Gustav Metzger and Jean Tinguely pioneered auto-destructive art; Michael Landy shredded all his possessions; and what about Banksy himself and his corrupted oils?"