A painting by street artist Banksy that was partially torn during its sale in 2018 is set to be auctioned again on October 14 in London, Sotheby’s announced. The price of “Love is in the Bin”, formerly known as “Girl with Balloon” (“The Girl with the Balloon”), is estimated to be between 4 and 6 million pounds (between $5.4 and $8.3 million). According to a statement by the auction house. The expected price, which cannot be ruled out to exceed expectations, is four to six times higher than the original price at which the painting was sold to an unidentified collector preparing for a very profitable deal. The art world was deeply shaken by the partial self-destruction of the British artist’s painting on October 5, 2018, after it was auctioned by Sotheby’s to “European collectors” for 1.042 million pounds ($1.356 million).
Immediately after the auction ended, and to the astonishment of the audience, the drawing of a little girl holding a red balloon in the shape of a heart fell to the bottom of the painting and began to be smashed automatically by a crushing machine that Banksy had hidden. This step resulted in roughly half of the plate being chipped. The buyer was initially shocked, but later announced her decision to keep the painting in its new state.
The scenes of spontaneous tearing achieved a great spread through social media around the world. Despite the subsequent distortion of the painting, or perhaps thanks to it, the value of the work increased following this step, through which Banksy wanted to denounce the commercial tendency that predominates on art. Sotheby’s described what happened at the time as “the most astonishing artistic event of the twenty-first century.”
In March, a work of his own honoring healthcare workers was sold for €20m and the money was earmarked for Britain’s Public Health Service.