An auction at Sotheby's Friday night featured a Banksy work titled Girl With Balloon. It was a final sale of the night, and the framed work was bid up to slightly over a million pounds before the gavel went down. As soon as it did, however, the painting was partially ejected through a shredder installed in its frame!
It is unclear whether the prank will have destroyed or enhanced the value of the work.
Sotheby’s said in a statement to the Financial Times: “We have talked with the successful purchaser who was surprised by the story. We are in discussion about next steps.”
The auction house declined to reveal the identity of the buyer.
The identity of the artist has yet to be revealed, either, but Banksy is known for audacious pranks. We can assume that the extent of Sotheby's involvement will be revealed sooner or later. -via Metafilter
Hyperallerigic has an eye witness account.