If a work is damaged while in the care of an auction house, a buyer would not normally be expected to go through with the purchase.
The 101cm-by-78 cm canvas in an artist's frame, annihilated in front of the auctioneers by a mechanism apparently hidden within the base of the frame, with just strips left to admire from the 2006 masterpiece produced by the famous-yet-anonymous British artist.
"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", noted Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art, Europe.
He claims that the NY auction house were completely unaware of the stunt, saying "The shredding is now part of the integral art work".
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There is now a further investigation of the lake to see if any other ancient pieces can be dug up. "I FOUND A SWORD!'", Mr Vanecek said .
He claimed he had no idea the artwork was going to be destroyed.
Banksy first gained prominence for his stencil work on walls in the late 1990s and began holding exhibitions in the early 2000s in the U.K. and the United States. Branczik also said he was "not in on the ruse", which really takes it to that next level.
While some tried to figure out what just happened, others reportedly noticed an elusive man dressed in black sporting sunglasses and a hat "scuffling" with security guards immediately after the fiasco.
"Banksy did it again to the art market that he so despises", he said.
Banksy's real identity is unknown, though most accounts say he comes from Bristol where he started out as a small-time graffiti artist.