The German museum displaying Banksy’s painting that partly self-destructed at auction has “deactivated” the artwork’s shredding device.
Love is in the Bin self-shredded in its frame immediately after selling for £860,000 ($1.12m) at Sotheby’s auction house in London in October.
Banksy then uploaded a video suggesting the entire canvas was supposed to shred- not just two thirds of it.
The museum wanted to prevent the rest of the artwork being destroyed.
Henning Schaper, the director of Frieder Burda de Baden-Baden Museum in South West Germany, said they wanted to avoid a visitor setting off the shredder.
“We have opened the frame, we have all looked and we have seen that the mechanism has been deactivated,” he said.
In front of press and photographers, white-gloved museum workers “slowly and cautiously” took apart the canvas on Monday afternoon to deactivate the device, before replacing the painting on the wall.
The woman who bought the painting decided to keep it, despite it being partially destroyed.
It is now on long-term loan to the Stuttgart museum and currently on display at Frueder Burda de Baden Baden for four weeks.
Banksy’s video, posted a few weeks after the auction in October, shows the frame, complete with its shredder, being assembled in Banksy’s studio.
It also shows footage from inside the auction room – including a clip of the button which triggered the shredding being pressed.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art in Europe, said that the auction house was not in on the stunt.
He said the reason the shredder wasn’t detected by Sotheby’s staff was that they had been instructed the frame was a key part of the work.
Speaking to The Art Newspaper, Branczik explained: “Pest Control [Banksy’s authentication board] said very clearly: the frame is integral to the art work.
“Which it was, just not in the sort of way that we thought.
“We also had a third-party conservator look at the work.”
Asked how the conservator did not spot the frame’s double thickness and apparent weight from the attached shredder, he replied: “You address what you see, it was more like a sculpture. If it says the frame is integral, you don’t rip it apart.”
Source : BBC