Then, as an alarm sounded, it ran through a shredder embedded in the frame, leaving half the canvas hanging from the bottom in strips.
On Instagram, Banksy revealed he had secretly built a hidden shredder into the frame of the painting years ago, in case it was ever auctioned off. And in true satirical Banksy fashion, he quoted artist Picasso in his caption: "the urge to destroy is also a creative urge".
Expert valuer Joey Syer told the ES, "We'd estimate Banksy has added at a minimum 50 percent to its value, possibly as high as being worth £2 million-plus".
Your average Friday night at Sotheby's in London-that is, a collector shelling out a million quid for a piece of art-quickly turned sour this week when said piece of art apparently self-destructed before the very eyes of auctioneers and collectors alike.
Banksy - whose identity still has yet to be confirmed - often incorporates political messaging, anti-capitalist ideas, and art world satire into his work.
As reported by the Bristol Post, while people who don't really understand Banksy are thinking the buyer was ripped off in the process, they really should think again. That's exactly why artist Banksy is making headlines.
It happened at Sotheby's in London, when the Banksy work was the last to be bid on, and eventually sold, for a grand total price of $1.1 million.
Anonymous British graffiti artist Banksy has pulled off another stunt that seized the attention of the art world - this time at the expense of his own work.
Julien's Auctions have said that the piece is perfectly safe as are other Banksy pieces open to bidding.
Orange County-based artist Jeff Gillette, whose 2010 "Dismayland" works portraying a slum surrounding the theme park were included in Banksy's similarly titled project, calls Banksy's newest prank 'brilliant'.
"However, when Banksy does something insane like shredding his own artwork, it will naturally have a dramatic affect on values".