Banksy's prank 'self-destructs' his artwork

Sotheby’s 'Banksy-ed' as painting 'self-destructs' live at auction

World famous graffiti artist Banksy has lifted the lid on how he managed to shred one of his paintings that had just sold at auction for nearly $2 million.

Banksy posted a photo of the shocking moment on Instagram, captioning the image, "Going, going, gone".

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", Alex Branczik, Sotheby's senior director, said in a press release from the auction house. The print was sold for $1.2 million and right after the gavel was hit, a remote alarm attached to the frame of the piece sounded - and the print was slowly cut to ribbons in a shredder hidden in the frame.

Banksy's painting "Girl with Red Balloon" is seen shredded after its sale at Sotheby auction in London, Britain October 5, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media on October 6, 2018.

Its sale price equalled the artist's previous auction record of £1.04m.

"This is now part of Art History in its shredded state and we'd estimate Banksy has added at a minimum 50% to it's value, possibly as high as being worth £2m+".

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The art world has been stunned by the latest prank by elusive artist Banksy. The artwork passed through the bottom of its golden frame, producing a partially shredded canvas. This artwork first appeared on Banksy's site following a record-breaking auction result for one of his canvases.

Branczik said, "he is arguably the greatest British street artist, and tonight we saw a little piece of Banksy genius". "You could argue that the work is now more valuable", Branczik said.

The 2006 artwork, which shows a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon sold for £1.042m on Friday night, the BBC reported.

Banksy is a Bristol-born artist whose true identity - despite rampant speculation - has never been officially revealed.

Since his emergence in the '90s, Banksy has pulled off an array of largely controversial stunts.

Geneva-based artist Pierre Koukjian, who was at the auction, said the buyer was "very lucky" to own a now-historic piece.

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