Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Banksy artwork mysteriously self-destructs after being bought at auction

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Ivan Hill | 06 October, 2018, 14:54

However, nearly immediately after the record-setting bid of $1.1 million was announced aloud, an alarm was triggered inside the frame and proceeded to shred the painting to pieces.

The artist himself posted a photo of the shredded work on his Instagram page with the caption, "Going, going, gone".

Bidders at the auction were left stunned when the artwork mysteriously began to shred itself from its frame, in what Sotheby's believes is a stunt by the artist.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed,", admitted Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art at Sotheby's.

It is unclear whether the prank will have destroyed or enhanced the value of the work.

The price paid in London on Friday evening matched the artist's previous record at auction for his "Keep It Spotless" piece in 2008, Sotheby's said.

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The move is the latest in a long history of anti-establishment statements by the street artist, who claims he does not make any money from his artworks.

While some tried to figure out what just happened, others reportedly noticed an elusive man dressed in black sporting sunglasses and a hat "scuffling" with security guards immediately after the fiasco.

Banksy, a mysterious artist from Bristol, southwest England, rose to fame painting clandestine street murals, typically simple graffiti stencils with a sharp political point, all over the world.

Girl With Balloon originally appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London.

Depicting a girl reaching towards a bright red heart-shaped balloon, the spray paint and acrylic on canvas is one of Banksy's best-known images.

He rose to fame with graffiti that appeared on buildings across the United Kingdom, often marked by deeply satirical undertones.

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