Banksy's Shredded Million-Dollar Artwork Is Worth Even More Now, Buyer Says

The woman who bid $1.4 million for a print by renowned artist Banksy will go ahead with the purchase even though it was shredded just after it was auctioned.

Strips were left hanging off the famous work from 2006, titled Girl With a Balloon, after the gavel went down at Sotheby's last week. A video on social media later revealed that a shredding device was built into the painting to be activated if it were ever auctioned.

But the anonymous buyer, described by the auction house as a longstanding client of Sotheby's, said she would still buy the work, for which she bid £1.04 million ($1.37 million).

"When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history," she said, according to The Guardian.

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An employee walks with Banksy’s “Girl With Balloon” at Bonhams auction house, in London on March 23, 2012. A woman who bid $1.4 million at Sotheby’s for the print by the renowned artist will go ahead with the purchase, even though it was shredded just after it was auctioned. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo

The artwork has now been renamed Love Is in the Bin and has been certified by Banksy's authentication body, Pest Control. The famous framed stencil painting shows a girl holding a balloon, with the sentence "There Is Always Hope."

Sharing the video on Instagram, the artist included a caption saying: "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge" – Picasso." The work will be on display at Sotheby's on October 13 and 14 before it is delivered to the buyer.

The anonymous artist released a video clip on social media showing how he built the secret shredder into the frame. What appear to be metal razor blades were put inside of the wooden frame. It is doubtful that such an implement would be present in the work without Sotheby's knowledge.

Art dealer Steve Lazarides, who has sold Banksy's work in the past, said he thinks Sotheby's had nothing to do with the shredding, but agreed its destruction has made it even more valuable.

"It may well be one of the first works to be worth more destroyed than it is whole," he said, according to Artsy.net. "If I was the collector that paid the money, on the night I would have been very shocked, but looking back in hindsight right now, I think I'd keep that piece of work. Its value very well might have increased."

Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art, Europe, said, "Banksy didn't destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one. Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale of the artist's newly titled Love Is in the Bin, the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction."