An art expert says that the piece of Banksy artwork that self-destructed minutes after being auctioned for $1.9m could now have doubled in value.

A copy of Banksy's 2006 "Girl with Balloon" painting was sold at a Sotheby's auction in London on Friday night.

However, right after the $NZ1.94 million (£953,829) bid was called, an alarm sounded inside the frame and the painting started to shred to pieces in front of surprised onlookers.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed!" Alex Branczik, the head of contemporary art, Europe said.


Branczik said Sotheby's auction house was not in on the prank.

"He is arguably the greatest British street artist, and tonight we saw a little piece of Banksy genius," he said.

"We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context.

"The shredding is now part of the integral art work. We have not experienced a situation where a painting has spontaneously shredded, upon achieving a record for the artist."

Banksy's Instagram account shared a photo of the shredded painting with the caption "going, going, gone …"

A photo of the destroyed Banksy art. Photo / Instagram
A photo of the destroyed Banksy art. Photo / Instagram

The move has also been praised as "genius" by fans.

And despite being shredded to pieces, it could now be worth twice as much.

Joey Syer, co-founder of told the Evening Standard: "Girl with Balloon is one of the most iconic images of recent times.


"It's seen some of the sharpest price increases over previous years with signed / unsigned prints and canvass showing an average of +20 per cent yoy. Prices now are regularly exceeding £115,000 for signed authenticated prints.

"The auction result will only propel this further and given the media attention this stunt has received, the lucky buyer would see a great return...this is now part of art history in its shredded state and we'd estimate Banksy has added at a minimum 50% to it's value, possibly as high as being worth £2m+," Syer told the Evening Standard.

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Going, going, gone...

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

"A man dressed in black sporting sunglasses and a hat was seen scuffling with security guards near the entrance to Sotheby's shortly after the incident," The Art Newspaper claimed.