Balloon girl painting self-destructs at sale

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.

Balloon girl

“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.

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