Photo: AP

This is why the ruling class can’t have nice things.

On Friday, at Sotheby’s in London, a Banksy work, “Girl with Balloon,” that had just been sold at auction for $1.4 million began, moments later, to self-destruct by running itself through a shredder, which was hidden in the frame.

As you can tell from the artist’s Instagram post about the stunt, Banksy has a keen interest in anti-establishing word play.

Sotheby’s senior director Alex Branczik said of the fiasco, I assume with tatters of a smile drawn about his lips, “It appears we just got Banksy-ed.”

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“We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context,” Branczik added. I take this to imply everyone in the art world has got their golden abacuses out, determined to put a new price on this work-in-pieces. Perhaps an even more profitable Banksy will emerge from the schisms of the old one. (The Independent reported a few hours ago that the work had “doubled in value.”)

“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge,” is what Banksy captioned a second Instagram post, quoting Picasso.

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Really makes you think.

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