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Banksy's Ballon Girl Self-Destructs After Being Auctioned
When the hammer fell, the shredder started
Art Stuff 06 Oct 2018

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Artist Banksy for sure knows, when to hit the surprise-,  or in this case, the shredder button. So did he yesterday, when Sotheby’s auctioned off the anonymous street artist’s famous 2006 work “Girl with a Balloon” for a dazzling $1.2 million. After the hammer fell, one could hear an alarm sound and the canvas slowly started to slide down and a built-in shredder, mounted inside the painting’s frame, ripped it into tiny stripes. The room became quiet.

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“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European director of contemporary art told the Art Newspaper. “He is arguably the greatest British street artist, and tonight we saw a little piece of Banksy genius.” Branczik also said he was “not in on the ruse,” which really takes it to that next level.

According to the Financial Times, the vendor selling the piece, acquired it directly from the artist himself. Sotheby’s announced in a statement, “We have talked with the successful purchaser who was surprised by the story. We are in discussion about next steps.” Rumour has it, that Banksy seems to have been in the room itself, to remotely activate the shredder once the hammer came down.

Next steps? Conserving it, framing the shredder, returning it? Who knows – maybe Banksy.

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