A painting by mysterious British artist Banksy shred itself into pieces at the moment it sold for more than 1 million pounds at a London auction on Friday.
Onlookers gasped and laughed after the bottom half of “Girl with Balloon”, one of Banksy’s best-known works, was sucked into a shredder hidden in its frame as the hammer fell, auction house Sotheby’s said.
The 12-year-old painting had just been sold for 1,042,000 pounds ($1.37 million) – matching Banksy’s all-time record.
“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” Alex Branczik, senior director and head of contemporary art, said in a statement on Sotheby’s website.
Banksy himself posted an Instagram picture of shocked attendees watching the painting disintegrate, with the caption: “Going, going, gone…”
Sotheby’s said this was “certainly” the first time a work of art started to shred itself after coming under the hammer.