Banksy 'Girl With Balloon' Painting Worth Double After Self-Destructing at Auction

Banksy 'Girl With Balloon' Painting Worth Double After Self-Destructing at Auction

Banksy 'Girl With Balloon' Painting Worth Double After Self-Destructing at Auction

On Oct. 5 in London, seconds after the Sotheby's hammer came down on the sale of a Banksy painting for the equivalent of $1.4 million, the crowd heard a repeated beeping, nearly as though a tiny truck were backing up, and as Girl with Balloon slipped through the bottom, now shredded, onlookers gasped.

Just slightly less than 24 hours ago, however, the anonymous street artist posted a video on his (or her, or their, who knows?) Instagram page which explained how a shredder was secretly installed in the frame.

The Girl With Balloon sold for over R20 million at an auction in London but then self-destructed the minute the hammer went down.

Banksy is not the first artist to deconstruct his own work.

He made that very clear in 2007, when he posted an image on his website of a packed auction room bidding on a framed painting of the words: "I can't believe you morons actually buy this shit".

But it was quickly evident that one of the art world's most fascinating figures had orchestrated his most daring and brilliant stunt yet.

Banksy in 2013 set up a stand near the city's Central Park and sold 20 signed canvases of his own work for $60 each.

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Banksy, a mysterious artist from Bristol, southwest England, has never confirmed his real identity.

However, once the surprise passed, art experts speculated that the stunt might have actually doubled the price of the work, due to the interest the stunt generated.

In 2005, he hung an image of a spear-toting ancient human pushing a shopping cart in the British Museum, where it remained for several days before being discovered.

The painting, which was auctioned off as part of Sotheby's "Frieze Week" contemporary art sale, will this weekend be on view at Sotheby's New Bond Street galleries in London.

Banksy works, like Monkey Queen, continue to be widely appreciated - and sought after.

There's also the reluctance of Banksy having their work auctioned off that has fans raising an eyebrow.

"If I were the buyer, I'd probably have been shocked, then I'd want to preserve it exactly as it is", Hove said.

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