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‘Going, Going, Gone...’: Banksy Artwork Shreds Itself After Sale

Banksy painting girl with balloon

Some believe Banksy may actually be a loose collective of artists all using his trademark tag on their work.

Street Art miners, The Sincura Group who were responsible for the removal and export of "Slave Labour" depicting a child making union flag bunting and regarded as a critical social commentary on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, was mysteriously taken from Wood Green, London.

One potential outcome, according to a spokeswoman, is that the destroyed work could be preserved as a document of the guerrilla tactic.

His "Happy Choppers" from 2006 fetched $735,000 also on Friday at a NY auction of personal effects owned by the late actor Robin Williams and his wife.

Banksy has revealed how he created the self-destructing painting that was sold for more than €1.1million.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", Branczik said after the painting was reduced to shreds.

Banksy is not the first artist to deconstruct his own work. Once the auction ended - with a purchase price that was three times higher than expected - an alarm sounded and the secret shredder switched on.

However, there is speculation that the shredded art could be fake.

"Executed in 2006, this work is unique", reads the lot description.

Commenting about the prank, on his Instagram account, the famous rebel artist, known for his sarcastic graffiti pieces, wrote, "Going, going, gone..." The painting was accompanied by the words "there is always hope" written just behind the girl.

It was originally stenciled on a wall in east London and has been endlessly reproduced, becoming one of Banksy's best-known images. It originally appeared on a wall on Great Eastern Street, London, and past year it was voted the nation's favourite artwork. With the bidding thereby closing at $1.2 million, the canvas which was suspended into view then suddenly descended into a shredding machine.

Branczik said the auction house is "in discussion" about the next steps with the buyer of the portrait. She said Sotheby's had been "100 per cent" unaware of the planned stunt.

Shortly after the incident, Banksy uploaded a photo of the painting in the process of being shredded - surprised and horrified expressions can be seen on the faces of onlookers.

We have also seen still images that further point to the mystery man's camera footage being the same footage that appears on Banksy's Instagram.