Six people reportedly arrested in France for stolen Banksy painting

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TOPLINE

Six people were arrested in France in connection with the theft of a mural by British street artist Banksy which was stolen from the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in 2019 and later recovered in Italy earlier this month, sources told Reuters and AFP on Saturday.

HIGHLIGHTS

Sources told AFP that two have been charged with theft, four have been charged with concealing theft and that all six are in pre-trial detention.

Earlier this month, Italian police recovered the stolen mural from an abandoned farm in Teramo, a city in Abruzzo about 90 miles northeast of Rome.

The mural was cut and stolen from Bataclan overnight in 2019 by a group of people carrying angle grinders who allegedly escaped in a truck.

The image of a sad veiled figure had been painted on an emergency door to the concert hall, where 90 people died in an attack by ISIS gunmen in November 2015, and would be the tribute from the artist to the victims of the massacre.

KEY CONTEXT

Street artist Banksy – who keeps his identity locked up – is known for his distinctive spray painting style and for his art that appears in unlikely places, from the West Bank to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The image on the door of the Bataclan was just one of a series of murals attributed to Banksy that emerged in Paris around June 2018, during a trip which, according to the artist, was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 student uprising. The most famous street artist in the world, Banksy’s pieces brought in over a million dollars at auction.

FURTHER READING

France stops six of stolen Banksy’s works: source (Reuters)

France arrests six people for theft of a work of art from Banksy to Bataclan (AFP)

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