It happened at Sotheby’s in London on Friday night, as a stencil spray painting by the mysterious artist Banksy went into self-destruct mode as the hammer went down for £1,042m. The framed artwork was “Girl With Balloon,” one of Banksy’s most famous works. It depicts a girl reaching for a balloon.

Literally, as the painting was sold on the auction, everyone watched open-jawed as the artwork passed down through a shredder that had been built into the frame. Banksy was not slow in responding to his little prank on social media.

Going… going…gone…

Banksy posted an image capturing the moment "Girl With Balloon" got shredded, to his Instagram account with the caption, "Going, going, gone..." The painting can be clearly seen with half of it hanging, shredded, below the frame.

Sotheby’s director and contemporary art head in Europe, Alex Branczik, told the media that they had been “Banksy-ed.” Brancsik told a press conference that they had never before experienced a painting instantly shredding following its sale for £1m.

The famous Banksy painting was listed in the Sotheby’s catalogue under the title “The artist’s frame.” When dealing with the elusive artist, that should have sparked concern. Reportedly, some had also expressed surprise that the frame was very thick for just a relatively small work of street art. Now they know why.

The Guardian quotes Sotheby’s as saying they had talked to the unnamed purchaser of the artwork, who expressed surprise.

They are now discussing the next steps to take.

The original artwork “Girl With Balloon” was first seen on a wall in Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch in east London. The smaller, framed 2006 gallery version was spray painted with acrylic paint on canvas and mounted on a board. As noted by The Guardian it is not sure if Banksy’s prank has destroyed the painting, or actually enhanced its value.

The mysterious Banksy

Born in Bristol, the graffiti artist has never been truly identified. He became famous after his well-thought-out and often satirical graffiti work started appearing throughout England. Every piece had a story to tell.

As reported by the BBC, in 2015 Banksy opened a faux-Disneyland Bemusement Park in Weston-Super-Mare, dubbed “Dismaland.” Banksy described it as being a family theme park that was “unsuitable for children,” due to its eerie and scary exhibits.

Gloucestershire Live noted that Banksy was also responsible for the 2014 mural “Spy Booth” in Cheltenham. At that time visitors were thrilled to take selfies with the painting behind them. The painting came after Edward Snowden revealed the surveillance by GCHQ. According to David Possee, who owned the Grade II listed building, maintenance workers “accidentally” removed the mural, leading to an investigation.