The fate of Banksy's 2006 spray-paint work has been uncertain since the United Kingdom street artist's stunt last Friday at a Sotheby's auction in London. The sale price equalled the artist's previous auction record of about $1.35 million.
The buyer's identity was not revealed but Sotheby's quoted her as saying: "When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history".
It is unclear whether this was part of a grand plan or whether the shredding was interrupted when alarmed auction house staff removed it from the wall.
Later on Instagram Banksy has a video in which hooded man sets in picture frames Schroeder. While the act may have been in protest of the art market and the exorbitant prices paid for works of art at auction, experts declare that the value of the piece will most likely increase as a result of the performance.
It was auctioned off for $1.4 million.
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The buyer, a female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby's, is proceeding with the £1.04 million purchase.
Suddenly, Banksy works were fetching tens of thousands of pounds at renowned auction houses and the mysterious street artist was world famous. "While Banksy's stunt involved destroying the classic artwork using a remote device, this person reportedly took a stanley knife to the expensive piece - which is apparently one of just 600 mint condition prints in the world".
"I wouldn't put it past Banksy to have staged the whole thing, and I wouldn't put it past him to have pulled this off without anyone being on it", Brooklyn-based street art curator RJ Rushmore told CNN.
A year later, he released an inflatable doll dressed as a Guantánamo Bay prisoner at Disneyland in California.