LONDON – The buyer of a work by street artist Banksy that was partially destroyed moments after it sold has gone through with the purchase, Sotheby’s auction house said Thursday.
The painting “Girl with Balloon” was passed through a shredder hidden in the frame just after it went under the hammer last week for £1,042,000 ($1.4 million).
The modified version has now been certified by Banksy’s authentication body Pest Control as a new piece of work in its own right, entitled “Love is in the Bin.”
The unnamed buyer, described as a female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby’s, has proceeded with the purchase at the price agreed on the night.
“Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art for Europe.
“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 buyer was quoted as saying, “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history.”