Robert Casterline’s photographs of the incident, including the work shredding itself and people trying to stop it. (images used with permission)

Today, October 11, Sotheby’s fueled the continued, gripping saga of Banksy’s recent stunt, where he deployed the self-destruction of a 2006 painting of his, just as the gavel banged down on its $1.3 million sale. Banksy has “re-authenticated” the painting, originally titled “Girl With a Balloon” (2006). Its post-auction moniker is “Love Is In the Bin” (2018).

Despite its newly-shredded state, Sotheby’s tweeted, “We are pleased to announce that the winning bidder on Banksy’s ‘Girl with Balloon’ last Friday night in London has confirmed their decision to acquire the new work that was created in our salesroom.”

In another tweet, the auction house said, “The buyer, a female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby’s, is proceeding with the purchase at the same price as was achieved in the room on the night.”

This may not come as a surprise to most. All sorts of conspiracy surrounding the antics have come about — some have accused Banksy of faking the stunt, while others have accused Sotheby’s of being in on the rouse the whole time for publicity.

In a statement, the work’s owner, who remains anonymous, said, “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history.” This decision comes after a week of negotiations.

Sotheby’s called it “the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.”

“Love Is In the Bin” (2018) will go on view at Sotheby’s galleries in London on October 13 and 14.

Jasmine Weber is an artist, writer, and former news editor at Hyperallergic. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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