Auctioneers at an art sale were left aghast after a work by mysterious street artist Banksy self-destructed moments after it had been sold for more than $1.7 million.
The work, Girl With a Balloon (2006), was the final piece sold for the night at an auction in Bristol, The Art Newspaper reported.
But as the piece sold an alarm was triggered and the art slipped through the frame and shredded.
Alex Branczik, the auction house’s head of contemporary art, told onlookers “we just got Bansky-ed” and labelled it “genius”.
He claimed he had no idea the artwork was going to be destroyed.
Mr Branczik said he’s never experienced “a situation where a painting has spontaneously shredded”.
“You could argue that the work is now more valuable,” he said.
Banksy shared an image of the artwork being shredded on Instagram and captioned it “going, going, gone.”
It’s been liked more than 160,000 times.