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.
- Here’s How Effective the Original Vaccines Are Against Omicron
- The Promise—And Possible Perils—of Editing What We Say Online
- How Trump Survived Decades of Legal Trouble: Deny, Deflect, Delay, and Don't Put Anything in Writing
- Flint Is Still Shaken by its Water Crisis—and Residents Are Experiencing Long-Term Mental-Health Issues
- A Beer Shortage Is Brewing. A Volcano Is Partly to Blame
- How Fasting Can—and Can't—Improve Gut Health
- Cities Keep Enforcing Curfews for Teens, Despite Evidence They Don't Stop Crime
- Joe Manchin’s Red Tape Reform Could Supercharge Renewable Energy in the U.S.
- Column: We Should Talk More About What a Brilliant Actor Marilyn Monroe Was