Wed. Oct 27th, 2021

London: A Banksy image cut in half by a shredder hidden in the frame when it was sold at auction fetched £ 18.6 million ($ 34.3 million) when it went back under the hammer in the same room in London Thursday.

Spectators gasped as it then titled Girl with balloon was sucked into a shredder when the hammer fell after a bid of £ 1,042,000 at an auction in October 2018 at Sotheby’s in London.

Sotheby's Auction House, the auction for Banksy's

Sotheby’s Auction House, the auction for Banksy’s “Love is the Bin” takes place in London.Credit:AP

“Some people think it’s not really flickering. It did. Some people think that the auction house was involved in it, they were not, ”said the street artist, whose identity is a closely guarded secret, on Instagram in 2018.

Now called Love is in the trash, the work sold for £ 18,582,000, more than three times the top end of its £ 4-6 million price estimate and an auction record for the artist.

“I can not tell you how scared I am to get this hammer down,” joked Sotheby’s auctioneer Oliver Barker after a 10-minute bid.


Banksy’s “Love is the Bin” before the auction. Credit:AP

Sotheby’s said the work fit into a famous anti-art story, including Marcel Duchamp’s anonymous submission of Fountain, a porcelain urinal reassembled on a pedestal in 1917, to Ai Weiwei, who photographed himself deliberately dropping an alleged urn from Han dynasty.

“When Girl with balloon ‘self-destruct’ in our saleroom, Banksy unleashed a global sensation that has since become a cultural phenomenon, ”said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s President of Modern and Contemporary Art.

“During the memorable night, Banksy did not so much destroy a work of art by shredding it, but instead created one. Today, this piece is considered the heir to an honored legacy of anti-establishment art. ”

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