The anonymous buyer of a Banksy painting that mysteriously shredded just after it was auctioned off at Sotheby’s last week plans to keep the work.
The 2006 work, “Girl with Balloon,” will be renamed “Love is in the Bin” to reflect its changed state, Sotheby’s said Thursday in a statement. The buyer is a female collector from Europe, the auction house said.
“Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one,” Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art in Europe for Sotheby’s, said in the statement.
News that the painting self-destructed went viral even before an Instagram account tagged to Banksy suggested he was behind the incident. In a video, a person purported to be the anonymous graffiti artist is shown installing a shredder inside the gilded frame “in case it was ever put up for auction.”
Just after the painting was sold on Oct. 5 for $1.37 million, an alarm sounded and then the canvas began sliding through the bottom of the frame, emerging in shreds as those in attendance watched in disbelief.
Sotheby’s said it will display the work Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. in London.