Banksy’s ‘Girl With Balloon’ Doubles in Value After Sotheby’s Shredder Stunt

The artwork was shredded moment after going under the hammer for $1.7m

Oh, that Banksy! The artist's Friday night hijinks at a Sotheby's auction snagged global headlines on October 5, as an allegedly unknown apparatus mounted inside a picture frame appeared to shred a valuable "Girl with a Balloon" (2006) image, just as the gavel dropped on the winning £953,829 (~$1,251,423) bid.

One of Banksy's best-known images, Girl With Balloon was one of the star attractions at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale.

The spray-painted canvas "Girl With Balloon" went under the hammer at Sotheby's in London, fetching more than three times its pre-sale estimate and equaling a record price for the artist.

Originally the painting was estimated at about 250-400 thousand dollars, but during the auction it was sold for 1.4 million dollars.

Waterman is among those who think the Banksy sold at Sotheby's has increased in value post-shredding."It's become worth more as a conceptual moment than as a work of art itself", said Waterman, adding that he believed Sotheby's had no knowledge of the stunt.

"A man dressed in black sporting sunglasses and a hat was seen scuffling with security guards near the entrance to Sotheby's shortly after the incident", Art Newspaper also reported.

Yesterday, Banksy posted a video on his Instagram account explaining how he installed the shredder in the frame without anyone knowing.

The ever-elusive, ever-inventive Banksy has once again made a fool of the art world, and captivated millions. 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.

Banksy later posted a video to Instagram that showed footage of a shredding mechanism being built into the frame for, presumably, Girl with Balloon.

Obviously, they warned people not to shred their artwork.

Geneva-based artist Pierre Koukjian, who was at the auction, said the buyer was "very lucky" to own a now-historic piece.

It was instantly recognisable as a Banksy to anyone familiar with his work.

BANKSY'S identity is one of the biggest mysteries in Britain - so who is the mysterious street artists behind the latest Girl With Balloon stunt?

But it was quickly evident that one of the art world's most fascinating figures had orchestrated his most daring and brilliant stunt yet.

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