“When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history,” said the woman, according to The Guardian.
Banksy, an elusive street artist known for creating unique, anti-establishment works, apparently built a shredder into the frame of “Girl With Balloon,” just “in case it was ever put up for auction” according to the artist’s own Instagram post.
When the piece was sold at Sotheby’s, an art dealership in London, earlier this month, the image began shredding through the bottom of the frame. The video posted by Banksy shows a shocked crowd murmuring before attendants carried off the artwork.
In a statement by Sotheby’s, the establishment’s director said the event caught them by surprise, or in other words: “we just got Banksy-ed.”
Now the piece, originally purchased for $1.37 million, could be worth double that amount, thanks to the additional Banksy touch. The woman who purchased the artwork is a European collector and a long time customer of Sotheby’s, according to The Guardian.
“Girl With Balloon” first appeared as street art in London in 2002, but was eventually removed in 2014. The gallery work was created in 2006 with spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted to a board.
Since its shredding, The Guardian reports the piece has been given a new title and a certificate of authenticity by Pest Control, Banksy’s handling service. The art is now known as “Love Is in the Bin.”