Banksy artwork shreds itself after being auction sale

Banksy artwork shreds itself after being auction sale

An employee carries Banksy's "Girl and Balloon" at Bonhams auction house in London prior to an earlier sale in 2012.

In a screengrab of a conversation with the artist, he said: "I don't charge people to see my art unless there's a fairground wheel", in reference to his dystopic amusement park Dismaland, which he opened to the public for a fee in Weston-super-mare in 2015. Once the bidding had come to a close on the iconic Banksy piece, the artwork started to sound an alarm and was subsequently destroyed by a shredder hidden within the frame.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", said Alex Branczik, the auction house's head of contemporary art, Europe, immediately after the sale.

There's no word on how the shredder started operating at the key moment after the auction, though it could have been activated by a remote mechanism.

The spray-painted canvas Girl With Balloon went under the hammer at Sotheby's in London, England on Friday night (Saturday NZ time), equalling a record price for the artist.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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.

Said Sotheby's in a statement, "We have talked with the successful purchaser who was surprise by the story".

He has also produced a treasure trove of other kinds of images, and his works have sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds in many cases.

It was instantly recognisable as a Banksy to anyone familiar with his work. The 2006 gallery version featured spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on a board.

Posting a picture of the moment on Instagram, Banksy wrote: "Going, going, gone".

But perhaps, now known as the subject of one of the greatest pranks in the art world, Girl With Red Balloon will be worth even more in its shredded state.