Shredded Banksy buyer will go ahead with million pound purchase, auction house says

'I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history,' unnamed buyer says

Thursday 11 October 2018 21:34
Banksy sells for over $1m then immediately self-destructs

The woman who purchased the Banksy artwork that stunned an auction house when it began to shred itself moments after bidding ended, has gone ahead with the purchase.

The unnamed European collector paid more than £1 million for the Girl with Balloon painting, one of the artist's most notable pieces, when it went under the hammer at the Sotherby's auction house in London.

Onlookers gasped and laughed after the bottom half of the piece was sucked into a shredder hidden in its frame, the moment the sale was confirmed.

"When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history," the buyer said, according to Sotheby's.

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.

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

Banksy himself posted an Instagram picture of shocked attendees watching the painting disintegrate last week, with the caption: "Going, going, gone..."

The artist, whose real identity is unknown, is known for sharply ironic outdoor graffiti with political themes, including at Israel's barrier at the West Bank and Disneyland where he painted a life-size figure of a Guantanamo Bay detainee.

Once a small-time graffiti artist from the English city of Bristol, Banksy's work has gone on to become hugely valuable.

Agencies contributed to this report

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