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Auctioned Thursday in London, “La Fille au Ballon”, a work by the artist Banksy whose partial self-destruction caused a sensation three years ago, is about to fly off at a sale at Sotheby’s.

This version of “La Fille au Ballon”, renamed “Love is in the Bin”, is estimated between 4 and 6 million pounds sterling (between 4.6 and 7 million euros). euros), depending on the auction house.

The expected price, likely to be exceeded, is four to six times higher than that which had been reached during the original sale to an anonymous collector, who is preparing to carry out a very fine operation.

The last appearance of the work at an auction in 2018 had caused amazement around the world.

No sooner had the hammer sounded when a crusher concealed in the frame had shredded the lower half of the canvas, which depicts a little girl releasing a red heart-shaped balloon, leaving only the balloon intact. White background.

With this resounding action, which had caused a real earthquake in the art world, the street artist aimed to denounce the “commodification” of art.

In its press release announcing the sale, Sotheby’s called the destruction “the most spectacular artistic happening of the 21st century”, placing it in the “legacy of anti-establishment art that began with (the) Dada and Marcel Duchamp movement” .

– Favorite of the British –

“During this surrealist evening three years ago, I accidentally became the privileged owner of + Love is in the trash +”, recalled the buyer, quoted in the Sotheby’s press release announcing the sale, “but he now is the time to part with it ”.

Even before this global notoriety, “La Fille au Ballon”, which appeared for the very first time in 2002 as a stenciled graffiti on a wall on the south bank of London, had already been named as the favorite work of art. of the British.

The diptych version of “The Girl with the Ball”, by Banksy, exhibited at Christie’s in London on October 1, 2021 (AFP / Archives – Linda ABI ASSI)

On Friday, a diptych version of “La Fille au Ballon” will be auctioned, also in the British capital, this time at Christie’s.

Produced in 2005, the two-part canvas is estimated at between 2.5 and 3.5 million pounds sterling (between 2.9 and 4.1 million euros).

Since this stroke of brilliance, Banksy has panicked auctions where his works are reaching records. Last March, “Game Changer”, a canvas honoring caregivers during the coronavirus pandemic, was sold at Christie’s for 16.75 million pounds (19.5 million euros).

Banksy became known for a series of graffiti appearing on buildings. The Bristol-born artist, who maintains the mystery of his identity, likes to provoke and give food for thought.

In 2005, he painted the graffiti “The Flower Thrower” on a wall in Jerusalem, depicting a masked protester about to throw a bouquet of flowers.

The artist also uses his graffiti bomb to demonstrate his opposition to Brexit, his support for migrants, or to warn about the climate emergency.

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