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Banksy's Artwork Self-Destructs After it Sells in Sotheby's Auction!

  • banksy shredded girl with balloon sotheby's
October 6, 2018
Passionate about art, frequent visitor of exhibitions, Widewalls photography specialist.

Yes, you read that right.

Girl With Balloon, a famous painting by the even more famous Banksy was destroyed on October 5th before the very eyes of the attendees of Sotheby’s auction in London in what appears to be yet another prank by the artist.

Immediately after the artwork was sold to a phone bidder for £1.04 million ($1.4 million), an alarm went off and the pieces of the canvas started coming out out the bottom of the frame which had secretly contained a shredder.

At a press conference following the sale, Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, simply said:

It appears we just been Banksy’ed.

Banksy Work Destroyes Itself in London Auction

In a video posted by those attending Sotheby’s auction last night, we can see the painting being stuck in the frame, with the upper half still inside it, and the lower, shredded part hanging at the bottom.

The visitors were quite surprised yet entertained, although we are not sure if the buyer is all that thrilled about the whole thing. Sotheby’s officials tried to get the canvas out of the frame unsuccessfully, before eventually taking the painting away.

It is unclear whether this “incident” will have decreased or increased the artwork’s value.

Before self-destructing, the painting tied Banksy’s record at auction previously achieved at a Sotheby’s auction in 2008. The prank certainly overshadowed Jenny Saville becoming the top living female artist at auction, as her fresh nude self-portrait Propped fetched £9.5 million ($12.4 million).

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A post shared by ART IN Gallery | Milano (@artingallery_official) on

Girl With Balloon Going… Going… Gone

Girl With Balloon, one of Banksy’s most famous works, was even voted Britain’s most popular image in 2017, and it depicts a girl trying to reach for a balloon that ironically appears to have slipped out of her hands. It originally appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street in London.

Shortly after the painting was destroyed at Sotheby’s, Banksy posted an image of it on his official Instagram account, captioning it Going, going, gone…

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Going, going, gone…

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

All images via Instagram.