A woman who bought a Banksy painting for more than £1m will keep the artwork, despite it self-destructing after it sold at auction.
Moments after the framed Girl With Balloon was sold by Sotheby’s in London, the canvas shredded itself.
Pest Control, a firm acting on behalf of the elusive artist, has titled the new piece Love is in the Bin.
Sotheby’s has confirmed the final price of £1,042,000 will be paid in full by the new owner.
The European woman who bought the piece, who does not want to be named, said: “At first I was shocked, but I realised I would end up with my own piece of art history.”
Moments after the hammer fell at the auction on Friday, alarms sounded and the canvas dropped through a hidden shredder built into the bottom.
In an Instagram post, the street artist posted a photo of the moment, showing shocked telephone buyers next to the canvas.
It still remains unclear how the shredder was activated.
In another Instagram post, Banksy explained why he built the frame.
The video showed someone in a hoodie installing the device, before another caption, saying: “In case it was ever put up for auction.”
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art, said the auction house was “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”.
Love is in the Bin will be put on display to the public at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries over the weekend.
The auction house has not revealed the identity of the new owner, saying only that she is a “long-standing client of Sotheby’s”.