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#Banksy artwork shredded moments after selling for record $1.4 million

Banksy artwork shredded moments after selling for record $1.4 million originally appeared on

A million-dollar piece of artwork by mysterious street artist Banksy was left in shreds before an aghast audience seconds after it was auctioned off for a record $1.4 million Friday. The British artist, whose identity is still unknown after decades of speculation, timed his painting, "Girl With Balloon," to self-destruct via a shredder hidden in the artwork's frame.

The painting was auctioned off Friday night at Sotheby's in London.

"Girl With Balloon" sold for 1,042,000 pounds, or about $1,367,104 -- tying a record for the priciest piece of art ever sold by Banksy, according to the auction house. "Keep It Spotless," a defaced work by Damien Hirst, set the previous record in February 2008.

(MORE: New works by elusive street artist Banksy on migrants discovered in Paris)

Sotheby's admitted it was pranked by the unknown artist, and took it all in stride.

“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, senior director and head of Contemporary Art, Europe London, said in a statement from Sotheby's.

The artist himself posted a photo of the shredded work on his Instagram page with the caption, "Going, going, gone..."

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