Banksy Pranks Auction House, Shreds $1 Million Artwork

Banksy girl with balloon self destruct Sothebys shredder

Banksy's 'self destructing painting' the 'PR stunt of the year'

The iconic Banksy painting that self-destructed at auction last week has been authenticated by Pest Control, the elusive street artist's authentication body. Sotheby's would not reveal the name of the buyer of the work but, according to the New York Times, confirmed that the client was a private collector who placed the winning bid with a Sotheby's staffer via the phone.

"Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale of the artist's newly-titled Love Is In The Bin, the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction".

The European woman who bought the piece, who does not want to be named, said: "At first I was shocked, but I realised I would end up with my own piece of art history".

"Sharing the video on Instagram, the artist included the caption: "'The urge to destroy is also a creative urge' - Picasso".

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"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", Alex Branczik, Sotheby's director of contemporary art in Europe, said.

He said he had fitted the shredder in case the painting should ever be put up for auction - where its final price set a joint record for his work.

Art experts predict that the value of the painting could have nearly doubled with the latest stunt that has received widespread media attention.

The auction house insisted it didn't know anything about the stunt.

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He told the Press Association he initially thought the painting had fallen out of its frame but then an alarm went off in the frame and he realised the auction house had been "Banksyed".

Banksy is known worldwide for his England-based street art.

The famously faceless artist is known for his stunts.

A year later, he released an inflatable doll dressed as a Guantánamo Bay prisoner at Disneyland in California.

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The man spotted at Friday's auction bears similarities to Gunningham, leaving internet and art sleuths to suggest it was him. His screen is visible and that angle is similar to one in footage in Banksy's video.

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