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Banksy's self-destructing painting sells for over $25 million, setting auction record

The bottom half of the canvas of "Girl With Balloon,” arguably Banksy’s best known work, shredded itself after its original 2018 sale.
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The self-destructing art piece created by Banksy sold Thursday for a record for the mysterious British street artist, according to Sotheby's auction house.

The piece, "Love is in the Bin," originally sold at auction in 2018 for about $1.4 million at Sotheby's London in a viral stunt. The bottom half of the canvas of "Girl With Balloon," arguably Banksy's best known work, began to shred as soon as the gavel hit, sealing the original sale.

Its estimated sale price in September was £4 million to £6 million, or $5.54 million to $8.31 million.

The partly shredded piece was placed for auction Thursday and sold for £18.582 million, or more than $25.4 million, the auction house announced. Thursday's sale broke Banksy's record from March, when a painting showing a boy playing with a toy nurse as a superhero sold for more than $20 million.

Banksy, the street artist whose real identity remains shrouded in secrecy, posted a video to Instagram that said a shredder was put inside the frame years ago, with a caption that read, "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." Banksy attributed the quotation to Pablo Picasso, but it was actually said by Mikhail Bakunin, a 19th century Russian who was a leading theorist of anarchism.