Artist Banksy pulled a million-dollar prank after his famous “Girl with Balloon” sold at Sotheby’s auction house in London on Friday.
Right after the piece was sold for an impressive $1.4 million, a hidden shredder built into the frame activated and began shredding the work of art, stunning auctioneers.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art, Europe London, said, “It appears we just got Banksy-ed.”
According to the Associated Press, there is still some question of what this means for the purchase of the artwork.
“We have not experienced this situation in the past . where a painting spontaneously shredded, upon achieving a record for the artist,” Branczik told the AP. “We are busily figuring out what this means in an auction context.”
According to Sotheby’s, the surprise incident marks the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically destroyed itself after coming under the hammer.
Banksy himself, a Bristol-born artist who remains officially unidentified, chimed in on Instagram with the cheeky caption “Going, going, gone…”
The framed art piece, depicting a girl reaching out for a bright red balloon, is one of Banksy’s most recognizable art pieces.
On Saturday, Banksy posted a video on his Instagram account, partially showing how the prank was pulled.
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