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'Love is in the Bin': Shredded Banksy artwork sells for nearly €22 million at auction

“Love is in the Bin” was offered by Sotheby’s in London.
“Love is in the Bin” was offered by Sotheby’s in London.   -   Copyright  Sotheby's Auction House via AP

A self-shredded work by British street artist Banksy has sold at auction for a record amount.

"Love is in the Bin" was offered on sale by Sotheby’s in London, with a presale estimate of £4m to £6m (€4.7m to €7.1m).

But the sale price on Thursday was three times the high estimate at around £18.5 million (€21.8 million), a record for the artist.

The artwork consists of a half-shredded canvas in an ornate frame bearing a spray-painted image of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon.

It last went on sale at Sotheby's three years ago in October 2018 under a different name, "Girl With Balloon".

Just as an anonymous European buyer made the winning bid, a hidden shredder embedded in the frame by Banksy whirred to life, leaving half the canvas hanging from the frame in strips.

Sotheby’s had described the work created in the stunt as "the ultimate Banksy artwork".

“Girl With Balloon” was originally stenciled on a wall in east London and has been endlessly reproduced, becoming one of Banksy’s best-known images.

In March, a Banksy mural honoring Britain’s health workers, first painted on a hospital wall, sold for £16.8 million (€19.8 million) at a Christie’s auction.