Cult British artist Banksy's 2006 artwork “Love is in the Bin'' has been sold at a record $25,427,144 on Thursday after it went under the hammer at the same Sotheby’s location in London, where a part of it was shredded during a 2018 auction. 

Three years ago, the piece, then called the “Girl with a Balloon," slid from its casing just after an auctioneer sealed the purchase by an anonymous European female bidder for $1.36 million at that time, Reuters reported.

The painting would fall into a hidden shredder concealed in its frame, slicing a significant part of the art, which dramatically changed its composition. Such a shocking stunt also saw Banksy rename his 2006 painting as “Love is in the Bin."

On Thursday, Auctioneer Oliver Barker recalled the incident, which he called a performance art that gave birth to the “unexpected piece." After 10 minutes of bidding, he would jokingly say he fears bringing down the gavel as it may see another mishap, according to the New York Daily News.

“Love is in the Bin'' secured the winning bid on behalf of an anonymous collector, who paid roughly $21.9 million, plus a buyer’s premium fee. It was more than three times the top end of its price guide, which was around $4.6 million to nearly $7 million, becoming an auction record for the artist.

"Some people think it didn't really shred. It did. Some people think the auction house was in on it, they weren't," Bansky, whose identity remains a closely guarded secret, clarified on Instagram in 2018, the Guardian noted.

"When 'Girl with Balloon' 'self-destructed' in our saleroom, Banksy sparked a global sensation that has since become a cultural phenomenon," Alex Branczik, Sotheby's chairman of modern and contemporary art, said. "During that memorable night, Banksy did not so much destroy an artwork by shredding it but instead created one. Today this piece is considered an heir to a venerated legacy of anti-establishment art."

The 2006 piece, which has its bottom half shredded and only a solitary red balloon visible on a white background in the frame, had been on permanent loan to Germany's Staatsgalerie Stuttgart museum since March 2019 following its controversial destruction. 

Banksy painting Three years ago, the piece, then called the “Girl with a Balloon," slid from its casing and fell into a hidden shredder concealed in its frame. Such a shocking stunt saw Banksy rename his 2006 painting as “Love is in the Bin." Tristan Fewings/Getty Images