Woman to keep shredded Banksy Girl With Balloon painting

Girl With Balloon self-shredding

Girl With Balloon self-shredding

The auction house said a female European collector was the successful bidder, agreeing to pay 1.04 million pounds ($1.8 million Cdn) for Girl with Balloon. "The idea of him colluding with an institution to pull off a stunt is the complete antithesis to his philosophy", Steve Lazarides, Banksy's former gallerist said, cited by the publicly listed auction house in the release.

The 2006 work, "Girl with Balloon", will be renamed "Love is in the Bin" to reflect its changed state, Sotheby's said Thursday in a statement.

Apparently unfazed by the self-destruction of a Banksy painting she had paid over $1 million to buy at a Sotheby's auction, the winning bidder has said she she will nonetheless go ahead with the purchase.

Banksy himself admitted responsibility for the shredding via a video posted to Instagram, although how the shredder was activated has not been made clear, leading some to suggest that someone at Sotheby's was in on the prank.

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 made a decision to continue with the purchase at the original price.

The buyer, who does not wish to be named, said: "When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history".

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", quipped Alex Branczik, the senior director and head of Contemporary Art in London.

The anonymous buyer says the work marks a seminal event.

Love is in the Bin will be put on display to the public at Sotheby's New Bond Street galleries over the weekend.

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