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Definitely NOT by Banksy

NO, no, it's not by Banksy. My Girl with a Balloon will not self-destruct, and will cost you something short of a million quid.

The elusive Bristol street artist pulled a fast one on the art world last week when his picture, Girl with a Balloon, began to shred itself out of its frame as soon as the auctioneer's hammer fell on a sale price of just over a million.

As the blood drained out of the new owner's face, the picture of his dreams disintegrated in front of his eyes, leaving art connoisseurs both dismayed and bemused.

Banksy apparently believes that creation and destruction are merely different expressions of the artistic impulse, so the self-shredding gimmick was all part of the picture's appeal.

Bizarrely, Girl with a Balloon, having gained instant worldwide publicity, is already worth significantly more than the sale price. Far from stiffing the new owner, Banksy did him an enormous favour.

All the freaks and frauds of the modern art world will now be hyperventilating over this new dimension in modern expressionism. The picture (or what's left of it) will be lauded wherever it goes - and the owner will become a kind of folk hero to all those who are looking for quick returns on their art investments.

To mark this astounding milestone in the modern art movement, I offer you Girl with a Balloon (Not by Banksy), an undistinguished sketch completed inside ten minutes that will set you back no more than a hundred quid.

It is not fitted with a self-shredding device, and what you see is what you get.

Can you form a queue over there, please? No jostling, elbowing or other forms of unseemly conduct. Cut it out. Stop it. Behave.

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