Banksy Pranks Auction House, Shreds $1 Million Artwork

The owner requested to double the price after the Banksy copy was destroyed with a knife

The owner requested to double the price after the Banksy copy was destroyed with a knife

That's the elephant in the room, the idea that was the auction house in or it or not? The buyer is a mystery.

"I think Banksy's idea here is that an appreciation for the concept is more important than an appreciation of the object", he added. It's become something else entirely: Now it's the only Girl with Balloon-and there are other copies that have sold at auction, not to mention the original, which Banksy spray-painted on an East London wall back in 2002-that has also been shredded. But Sotheby's has responded that they were unaware and they had been 'Banksy'd'.

The British street artist, famous for being faceless, is certainly well known for his stunts. In 2006 he had built a life-size image of a hooded Guantanamo Bay detainee inside a ride in Disneyland themed park in California. "The shredding is now part of the integral artwork".

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge", Banksy captioned the Instagram post.

Reporters who have met Banksy describe him as "white, scruffy casual - jeans, T-shirt, a silver tooth, silver chain and silver earring". Its stencil has been repeated in an edition of 150 prints and 25 numbered paintings by Banksy. Still, it was a brilliant show, though he really could have used cross-shredded instead.

Banksy has previously been named as Robin Gunningham - a former pupil at Bristol Cathedral School.

The authors conceded that their study fell short of definitive proof.

Shortly after the incident, Banksy uploaded a video to his Instagram account seemingly taking responsibility for the destruction.

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The question remains though: Who is Banksy and why is his work such a big deal? Onlookers stood petrified as the canvas passed through a shredder, operated by a remote-control mechanism, installed in the frame. At the very least, wouldn't the battery have gone flat? The German artist Gustav Metzger coined the genre "auto-destructive art" in the 1960s, and used the inherent ephemerality of his work as a commentary on the post-World War II collapse of the geopolitical order.

Very amusing, that, if you ask us. The artist, according to a statement Sotheby's released to the Financial Times, was "surprised by the story", and is in discussion with the auction house about next steps.

Experts also wondered why the marquee work was the final lot in the sale. "#GirlWithBalloon" one of them tweeted.

Sotheby's insists it had no idea about the stunt.

Sotheby's, which could not be reached for further comment on Saturday, did not disclose if it had prior knowledge of the stunt.

Will the painting go up or down in value? .

Shepard Fairey, the popular L.A. -based street artist - most well known for his Obama "Hope" posters - said that "I do agree with the underlying sentiment of it".

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", said Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art for Europe, in a press release accompanied by photos of the freaky episode. Finally, a hammer pounded to signify the end of the auction.

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