No one knows how the secret artist activated a shredder hidden in the frame of his painting "Girl with a Balloon" just after Sotheby's sold it last week for £ 1,042,000 ($ 1.4 million, € 1.2 million).
The maverick British artist published a video on Instagram after the joke accompanied by a quote attributed to Pablo Picasso: "the need to destroy is also a creative necessity".
He said he had placed the crusher in case the painting was put up for auction, where his final price set a joint record for his work.
"Banksy might think that by destroying his art he's undermining the capitalists who buy it, but he's wrong," said Mikael Faujour, of the French art magazine "Artension." "The leftovers of this destruction will acquire a new prestige and an additional monetary value," he said.
Thierry Ehrmann, who runs Artprice, agreed that the joke probably increased the value of the job. Now it could be worth "more than 2 million euros," he suggested.
Arnaud Oliveux, an expert, said that because it is only partially crushed, "it becomes something else, and acquires the aura of" an iconic work of art, "he said.
Artcurial will soon auction off three paintings by Banksy, along with a resin figure of a rat holding a brush signed by the artist. Sotheby's revealed that the modified Banksy has been renamed as "Love is in the trash." He said that the anonymous buyer has gone ahead with the purchase for the agreed price at night.