Buyer goes ahead with purchase of shredded Banksy painting

Banksy’s Girl With Balloon painting at Sotheby's auction

Banksy’s Girl With Balloon painting at Sotheby's auction

But seconds after the hammer fell, a shredder secretly built into the work's frame cut the bottom half of the painting into pieces.

It's become something else entirely: Now it's the only Girl with Balloon-and there are other copies that have sold at auction, not to mention the original, which Banksy spray-painted on an East London wall back in 2002-that has also been shredded.

The anonymous buyer of a Banksy painting that was partially shredded at an auction has agreed to proceed with her payment of 1.04 million pounds (1.37 million dollars) despite the damage to the artwork, the auctioneers said on Thursday.

It might now be worth "more than two million euros", he suggested.

One way or another, Banksy sure got people talking, as the stunt quickly went viral.

Works of art and picture frames are usually studied with care and attention prior to sales, they say.

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Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art for Europe at Sotheby's, says it is "the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction".

To mark the fact that the work, after its transformation, is now an entirely new piece, Banksy has renamed the painting.

"When I heard the hammer (auction host) and the work was cut into pieces, at first I was shocked, but gradually began to realize that in the end I get a piece of art history" - gives the auction house the words of a girl, whose name is not called.

Sotheby's said the buyer of the 2006 work "Balloon Girl", identified only as "a female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby's", had chose to continue with the purchase at the original price.

Banksy has "re-authenticated" the painting, originally titled "Girl With a Balloon" (2006).

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