An elaborate prank by Banksy has shocked an art auction house when his most famed piece self-destructed after being sold for an eye-watering amount of money.

The stencil spray painting, of Banksy’s best-known work ‘Girl With Balloon’, was auctioned by Sotheby’s in London and sold for £1million. However, almost instantly after it was sold, the framed work began to shred itself in front of the crowd.

“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art, Europe. “He is arguably the greatest British street artist, and tonight we saw a little piece of Banksy genius.” Branczik maintained that Sotheby’s was “not in on the ruse.”

“We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context,” Branczik added. “The shredding is now part of the integral art work. We have not experienced a situation where a painting has spontaneously shredded, upon achieving a record for the artist.”

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Going, going, gone…

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