Banksy’s painting “Love is in the Bin” has gone on display for the first time since it spectacularly shredded itself during an auction.
The partially destroyed artwork opens to the public Tuesday at the Frieder Burda Museum in Baden-Baden, a town in southwestern Germany. A museum statement described “stiff competition” in becoming the first institution to display the work.
Banksy shocked the art work last October when his 2006 painting slid into a shredder hidden inside its frame just seconds after selling at auction for £1.04 million ($1.4 million). Footage from Sotheby’s in London showed the concealed device coming to an abrupt stop, with the anonymous artist later suggesting that he had intended for the artwork to be entirely destroyed.
Frieder Burda Museum’s director, Henning Schaper, told reporters that his staff had opened the frame to remove the shredder and batteries ahead of the exhibition. The painting is being displayed with its strips hanging from the bottom, just as it appeared at the auction house before being carried away by officials.
“We are expecting great interest from the public, especially young people and Banksy fans,” Schaper added in a statement. “At the same time, we have to resist the temptation to display the picture like a trophy. That would definitely not be what the artist had in mind.
“Instead, we are trying to adhere to (Banksy’s) approach of consistently democratizing art and we are currently discussing how to make the picture accessible to as many people as possible.”
Previously known as “Girl with Balloon,” the artwork shows a girl reaching for a red heart-shaped balloon, and was based on a 2002 mural by the artist. It was renamed shortly after the auction.
The painting’s owner, who is identified only as a “European art collector” by the German museum, proceeded with the sale amid speculation that its value may have increased as a result of Banksy’s intervention.
“Love is in the Bin” will be shown in Baden-Baden until March 3, after which it will go on display at the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart.