Artcurial will be the first auction house to sell Banksy’s prints since the infamous Sotheby’s auction in London when “Girl With Balloon” was reduced to shreds after it was sold for $1.4 million.
After Banksy’s last stunt, the auction house says it is keeping a “close watch” over its prints and taking extra precautions.
“We looked over them very closely and were extra vigilant,” Artcurial auctioneer Arnaud Oliveux told CNN ahead of the Search & Stop auction that’s taking place in Paris on October 24.
“I don’t think he would use the same system as he did to shred the artwork at Sotheby’s but he could do something different, another kind of stunt, so we will stay alert. ”
While Oliveux says Artcurial would love for the same prank to happen again, he admits that it would be unusual for the anonymous artist to pull it twice.
“Banksy is a unique artist and his pieces are equally unique. He’s a one shot kind of guy, I just can’t imagine him pulling the same stunt twice.”
Oliveux says the art could be auctioned for more than what they were originally anticipating, thanks to the “self-destructing” painting earlier this month.
“There’s definitely a bigger buzz around this auction because of what happened at Sotheby’s. There’s a lot of interest from collectors and prices are going up,” Oliveux said.
Three Banksy prints are part of the collection, with bidding starting at 30,000 euros ($34,400) on the print depicting Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” being searched by a police officer, titled “Stop and search.”
“It’s a typical Banksy anti-establishment statement. You have Dorothy’s innocence in stark contact with the police check,” Oliveux said, adding if there was one print that would be sabotaged, it’d be this one.
“All his themes are in this print, the dangers facing our society, the police state. He wants to draw us in. It would make sense for him to pick this one.
Other works of Banksy up for sale include “Soup Can Yellow” with an estimate of 15,000 to 20,000 euros and “Queen Vic,” with an estimate of 3,500 to 4,000 euros.
Banksy revealed last week that things didn’t quite go according to plan at the Sotheby’s auction where the 2006 painting “Girl with Balloon” slid halfway into the shredder hidden inside its frame.
A video posted on Banksy’s website — edited together mostly with mobile phone footage from the London sale — implied that the artwork was supposed to be entirely destroyed.
The clip was accompanied by the message, “In rehearsals it worked every time…”