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“Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one.”   

Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art Europe, on the Girl with Balloon canvas by street artist Banksy that partially shredded itself in the saleroom moments after the hammer came down. The successful bidder, who bought the picture for a hammer price of £1.04m, has agreed to keep the ‘new’ artwork, now renamed Love is in the Bin.

“It’s hugely disappointing in terms of the expense and for our customers. We acquire the best stock for each fair and we rely on the turnover.”

Gavin Morgan of Morgan Strickland Decorative Arts after the Kensington Antiques Fair was cancelled on Wednesday just days before it opened.

“We are appealing for people to be vigilant as these thieves are targeting antiques centres.”

Tim Hogarth, who runs York’s Red House Antiques Centre, following a ‘Mission Impossible’ style theft there on Wednesday.

“This is the most recognised photograph in the history of National Geographic – I have heard it called ‘the First World’s Third World Mona Lisa’.” 

Heritage Auctions’ photographs director Nigel Russell on Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl, 1984 which goes under the hammer on October 12.