Banksy painting 'self destructs' after being sold for €1.1million

Immediately after

In a screengrab of a conversation with the artist, he said: "I don't charge people to see my art unless there's a fairground wheel", in reference to his dystopic amusement park Dismaland, which he opened to the public for a fee in Weston-super-mare in 2015.

The auction price of $1.4 million for the spray paint and acrylic on canvas Girl with Balloon tied the artist's previous record set in 2008.

Immediately after the painting had been sold to a phone bidder for £1.04 million ($AUD 1.93m), part of it slid down the frame and was mysteriously shredded, according to Sotheby's.

If a work is damaged while in the care of an auction house, a buyer would not normally be expected to go through with the purchase.

Shortly after, the the canvas was shredded to pieces by artwork's frame, which was also made by Banksy.

Alex Branczik, the auction house's head of contemporary art, told onlookers "we just got Bansky-ed" and labelled it "genius".

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Posting a picture of the moment on Instagram, Banksy gave his own comment on the stunt, writing: "Going, going, gone".

"We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context", Branczik added.

You buy a artwork to hang on the wall but it looks like this one will be more of a jigsaw puzzle! Sotheby's refused to reveal who had bought the piece before it was shredded.

In a statement, the auctioneers Sotheby's said they were in discussions with the purchaser of the destroyed artwork, who they described as "surprised".

Banksy's real identity is unknown, though most accounts say he comes from Bristol where he started out as a small-time graffiti artist.

Girl With Balloon first appeared on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch, London, in 2006.

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