LONDON: A stencil spray painting by secretive artist Banksy shredded itself after it was sold in Sotheby's auction house here for more than 1 million pounds.
"Girl With Balloon", one of Banksy's most widely recognised works, shows a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon and was the final work sold at the auction on Friday night, the BBC reported.
However, in a twist to be expected from street art's most subversive character, the canvas suddenly passed through a shredder installed in the frame.
Posting a picture of the moment on Instagram, Banksy wrote: "Going, going, gone..."
Immediately after the gavel drops and this Banksy is sold for ~$1 million, a remotely activated shredder concealed inside the frame reduces the artwork into to ribbons. Brilliant. pic.twitter.com/7eJG1cO0Bt— VOICE OF RAM (@VORdotcom) October 6, 2018
"It appears we just got Banksy-ed," said Alex Branczik, Sotheby's senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe.
Banksy is a Bristol-born artist whose true identity, despite rampant speculation, has never been officially revealed.
He came to prominence through a series of graffiti pieces that appeared on buildings across the country, marked by deeply satirical undertones.
Going, going GONE.... Banksy's "Girl With Red Balloon" self-destructs upon fetching £860,000 ($1.3m) at @Sothebys auction. Alarm goes off, shredder starts within the frame, and it is destroyed. Absolute genius!! #Banksy #GirlWithRedBalloonpic.twitter.com/DWL6nj1gI2— ElyzabethSB (@ElyzabethSB) 6 October 2018
Friday's self-destruction was the latest in a long history of anti-establishment statements by the street artist.
In 2017 it was voted the nation's favourite artwork. The gallery version featured spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on a board.