Shredded Banksy artwork sells for USD25.4M at auction

LONDON (AP) – A work by British street artist Banksy that sensationally self-shredded just after it sold at auction three years ago fetched almost GBP18.6 million pounds (USD25.4 million) on Thursday – a record for the artist, and close to 20 times its pre-shredded price.

Love is in the Bin was offered by Sotheby’s in London, with a pre-sale estimate of GBP4 million to GBP6 million (USD5.5 million to USD8.2 million).

After a 10-minute bidding war involving nine bidders in the saleroom, online and by phone, it sold for three times the high estimate to an undisclosed buyer. The sale price of GBP18,582,000 (USD25,383,941) includes an auction-house fee known as a buyer’s premium.

When it last sold at Sotheby’s in October 2018, the piece was known as Girl With Balloon. Just as an anonymous female European buyer made the winning bid – for GBP1 million (USD1.4 million) – a hidden shredder embedded in the frame by Banksy whirred to life, leaving half the canvas hanging from the frame in strips.

Sotheby’s received some criticism at the time for failing to spot the hidden shredder. But the 2018 buyer decided to go through with the purchase, a decision that was vindicated on Thursday as the work’s price soared.

Art handlers at Sotheby’s auction house hold Banksy’s ‘Love is in the Bin’, before it returns to auction at Sotheby’s, London. PHOTO: AP