Banksy painting self-destructs minutes after being sold at auction

Banksy painting self-destructs minutes after being sold at auction

The legendary street artist Banksy has booby-trapped one of his most famous works to self-destruct right after it was auctioned for over £1 million, in an apparent freaky prank at the Sotheby's Auction House in London on Friday.

It might just have been mildly irritating for the winning bidder, who had just spent $1.1 million (£838,418) on a print of Banksy's iconic "Girl with Balloon".

"You could argue that the work is now more valuable", he said.

Banksy, who has never disclosed his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has become one of the world's best-known artists.

The artwork, "Girl with a Balloon", from 2006, was auctioned at Sotheby's auction in London last night, when it "self-destructed".

A million-dollar piece of artwork by mysterious street artist Banksy was left in shreds before an aghast audience seconds after it was auctioned off for a record $1.4 million Friday.

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On Instagram, Banksy posted a photo of the stunned audience watching his work get obliterated, mischievously captioning it: "Going, going, gone".

A device hidden within the frame of the painting causes part of it to be shredded.

"Banksy did it again to the art market that he so despises", he said.

While some tried to figure out what just happened, others reportedly noticed an elusive man dressed in black sporting sunglasses and a hat "scuffling" with security guards immediately after the fiasco. "It's certainly the first work to be spontaneously shredded as an auction ends".

He went on to tell The Associated Press that the auction house was in discussion about "next steps" with the buyer.

Girl With Balloon originally appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London.

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