A FAMOUS stencil spray painting by the elusive artist known as Banksy began shredding itself immediately after it was sold at auction.
The piece, titled Girl With Balloon fetched £1.042 million at Sotheby's in London last night, but as soon as the hammer went down on the deal, the canvas passed through a shredder which was hidden inside the frame.
Banksy posted an image on Instagram of the shredded work dangling from the bottom of the frame with the title “Going, going, gone …”
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Sotheby's today confirmed there had been a legitimate winning bid on the artwork.
The purchaser is said to have been "surprised" after their newly acquired work was destroyed.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe said: “It appears we just got Banksy-ed.”
The auction house added they were in discussions with the buyer about what the next steps would be.
Many are suggesting that the piece could actually increase in value following the prank.
One person tweeted: "It just became worth 3 times as much. Probably a low estimate as there are always those that have more pocket money," while another wrote "That’s just doubled it’s value. Very clever."