Buyer Goes Through With $1.4 Million Purchase of Banksy Painting After It Self-Destructed

Playing Banksy Artwork Shredded After Selling at Auction May Have Increased in Value

The woman who purchased Banksy’s artwork for $1.4 million before it was shredded at a London auction last week said she is still going through with the purchase.

Artist Banksy’s “Girl With Balloon” work was sold at Sotheby’s to female European art collector last Saturday, but when the hammer came down it triggered the painting to self-destruct.

The famous canvas ran through a shredder inside its frame and came out in strips.

The buyer, who has remained unidentified, told the auction house that she realized the painting may be invaluable after the incident.

"When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history,” she said.

The painting has now been renamed "Love is in the Bin,” Sotheby’s representatives said.

Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art for Europe at Sotheby's,  said the piece is "the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.”

Banksy took to his Instagram last week with a picture of the onlookers' shocked faces during the moment and captioned it, “Going, going, gone…”

Banksy originally became known from a series of notable pieces of graffiti throughout England but has never revealed his full identity.

This isn’t the first time he’s pulled a prank, however. In 2005, he hung an image of a spear-holding ancient human pushing a shopping cart in the British Museum. It stayed there for several days before anyone noticed.

The next year he placed a life-sized figure of a Guantanamo Bay detainee inside of Disneyland.

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