On Oct. 5, Girl With Balloon by street artist Banksy fetched $1.4 million (W1.57 billion) at an auction in London. As soon as the hammer went down, the painting passed through a shredder concealed behind the frame. The buyer still plans to proceed with her purchase, saying, “When 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.”
Renamed to Love Is in the Bin, it briefly went back on display at Sotheby’s Bond Street Galleries from Oct. 13-14. Some experts believe that the painting is now worth at least $2.8 million (W3.15 billion), or more than double its original price, thanks to Banksy’s clever stunt at the auction house. “Given the media attention this stunt has received, the lucky buyer would see a great return,” explained Joey Syer, who owns a London-based online art marketplace. “This is now part of art history in its shredded state.”
Steve Lazarides, Banksy’s former agent, said, “It may well be one of the first works to be worth more destroyed than it is whole. If I were an avid Banksy collector, wouldn’t I want the most famous piece of art he’s ever made, even if it’s shredded in a box?”
Chris Hong Copy Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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