A stencil spray painting by elusive artist Banksy shredded itself after it was sold for more than £1m.
The framed Girl With Balloon, one of the artist’s best known works, was auctioned by Sotheby’s in London.
The piece which shows a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon was the final work sold at the auction.
However, moments after the piece went under the hammer, the canvas passed through a shredder that was hidden inside the frame.
Posting a picture of the moment on Instagram, Banksy wrote: “Going, going, gone…”
The 2006 piece sold for £1.042m on Friday night.
“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe.
The Bristol-born artist’s true identity has never been officially revealed.
He came to prominence through a series of graffiti pieces across the country.
Among his recent works was the 2015 opening of Dismaland, a Disneyland-esque theme park which he described as a “family theme park unsuitable for children”.
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Girl With Balloon originally appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London.
In 2017 it was voted the nation’s favourite artwork.
The gallery version featured spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on a board.
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