The buyer, a female European collector whose identity hasn't been disclosed by Sotheby's, is proceeding with the purchase at the hammer price achieved during the company's contemporary art evening sale in London Oct. 5. The auction house stated that it is "currently in discussions about next steps".
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"A few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting", reads a caption, before a person wearing a hoodie installs the device.
Some believe Banksy may actually be a loose collective of artists all using his trademark tag on their work.
The work was one of several hundred copies of Banksy's iconic Girl with Balloon.
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BANKSY'S identity is one of the biggest mysteries in Britain - so who is the mysterious street artists behind the latest Girl With Balloon stunt? Alternatively, was it the ultimate act of rebellion, Banksy pulling the rug out from under the buyer and reasserting his control over his work by destroying its value the moment it changed hands?
"We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context ..." The shredding was equivalent to Banksy's vandalism in painting graffiti on the walls of buildings without the owners' permission. He called Banksy's prank "a turning point in the history of contemporary and conceptual art". The gallery version that was up for sale on Friday was rendered in 2006, and it was signed and dedicated on the back.
The 12-year-old painting had just been sold for 1,042,000 pounds ($1.37 million) - matching Banksy's all-time record.
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The auction house said the artwork had been granted a certificate by Banksy's authentication body and has given a new title, "Love is in the Bin".