The anonymous street artist known only as Banksy has seemingly trolled the art world in the most spectacular fashion.

At the weekend Banksy’s piece – Girl With Balloon – was being auctioned off at Sotheby’s in London. The piece was originally created in 2002 before being repurposed in 2014 to depict a Syrian refugee.

On Friday however a print of Girl with Balloon met a fateful end when after the gavel went down announcing the piece had been sold for just over £1 million, it began to shred.

That’s right, a shredder had been built into the frame and shortly after being sold, the million pound painting was shredded.


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Following this news breaking at the weekend many people are wondering whether or not this was a publicity stunt.

Given that the shredder would have required some sort of power source, many alleged that Sotheby’s was in on the prank. That having been said the size of the frame means it could have just as well been battery-powered.

There’s also the reluctance of Banksy having their work auctioned off that has fans raising an eyebrow. Prints of Girl With Balloon have been sold at auction before without much fanfare but perhaps this print was different.

While we do smell a clutch for publicity with this story we can’t deny the fun we had watching the shocked look on the art world’s face as a million pound piece of art got shredded.