Published: Sun, October 14, 2018

Buyer goes ahead with purchase of shredded Banksy painting

Buyer goes ahead with purchase of shredded Banksy painting

Onlookers gasped and laughed after the bottom half of Girl with Balloon, one of Banksy's best-known works, was sucked into a shredder hidden in its frame as the hammer fell last Friday after a bid of £1,042,000 ($1.9 million) - matching Banksy's all-time record. After the work slid from its ornate frame, shredding like office paper, a question remained, what happens next? The art world was in shock at the never-before-seen stunt, and experts soon began speculating that the piece was perhaps worth even more in its destroyed state.

The unnamed buyer, described as a female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby's, has proceeded with the purchase at the price agreed on the night.

The anonymous buyer says the work marks a seminal event.

After partial destruction of the painting was given a new name - Love in a trash can. It's now: "Love Is in the Bin" (2018).

The modified version has now been certified by Banksy's authentication body Pest Control as a new piece of work in its own right, entitled "Love is in the Bin". "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.

But Sotheby's denies it was involved.

"Banksy didn't destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one", Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art Sotheby's Europe, said in a news release on Thursday confirming that the buyer wouldn't back out. "Do you really think Banksy, who spent his youth stenciling walls in Bristol and dodging the local authorities, would want to collaborate with the art establishment?"

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