$2 million prank

Story by CBC Kids News • 2018-10-09 16:31

Painting self-destructs seconds after being sold

It took only a few seconds for a painting worth almost $2 million Cdn to become a pile of shredded canvas.

The spray-painted image of a little girl and heart-shaped balloon had just sold at an auction in London, England, on Friday.

Then an alarm sounded and the painting ran through a shredder that was hidden in its frame.

The artist, known as Banksy, captured the shocked reactions in the room on their official Instagram account.

A screenshot from the artist Banky's Instagram account.

Banksy is a graffiti artist based in England.

He or she has never revealed their true identity.

Banksy is also known for pulling pranks.

In 2005, the artist hid a carving of a caveman pushing a shopping cart in the British Museum.

The next year, the artist snuck a life-sized figure of a prisoner into Disneyland.

Maybe that’s why the person in charge of the sale for Sotheby’s, a high-end auction house, Alex Branczik, didn’t seem all that shocked that the painting got shredded.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed," he said.

Branczik said he’s been talking to the person who bought the painting to find out what will happen next.

But because nothing like this has ever happened before, he said he wasn’t sure what to expect.

It was a record-setting sale for Banksy.

The artist had never sold a piece of art for that much money.

The image of the girl with the balloon was first stenciled on a wall in London, England.

It’s now one of Banksy’s most famous pieces of art, but there are others:

A piece of art created by Bansky in which kids play catch with a sign that reads

Banksy painted a couple of kids playing catch with a sign instead of a ball in London, England. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

A robot spray-paints a barcode on the wall in a Banksy painting in New York City.

A robot spray-paints a barcode on the wall in this Banksy painting in New York City. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

A man throws flowers instead of a weapon in a Banksy painting.

A man throws flowers instead of using a weapon in this Banksy painting on the wall of a gas station in the Middle East. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

Children use an Israeli army watch tower as a swingset in a painting by Banksy. The painting appears on a wall in the Gaza Strip.

This painting in the northern Gaza Strip shows kids using an Israeli army watch tower as a swing ride. (Adel Hana/Associated Press)

Get your class on the same page, add this to
Google Classroom

Was this story worth reading?