Banksy mural stolen from Bataclan in Paris found by police in Italy


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A stolen mural created by the British street artist Banksy on a door of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, where terrorists killed 90 people in 2015, has been recovered in Abruzzo, Italy, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
The work, thought to have been created as a tribute to the victims of the Bataclan terrorist attack, is one of a series of murals painted in the French capital attributed to Banksy. It shows a veiled and mournful female figure.
The mural was cut out and removed from one of the emergency exit doors at the venue in January 2019.
According to French investigators, the theft involved “a group of hooded individuals armed with angle grinders” who reportedly drove away with the artwork in a truck.
“Banksy’s work, a symbol of recollection and belonging to all: locals, Parisians, citizens of the world, has been taken from us,” the Bataclan said at the time on Twitter.
For over a year, investigations have continued in several European countries, to no avail, until Tuesday, when a search by Italian police in a farmhouse in Teramo, in the Italian region of Abruzzo, uncovered the mural.
Michele Renzo, the head of the L’Aquila district prosecutor’s office, told la Repubblica: “The finding was possible following investigations conducted by the district prosecutor in collaboration with the police and the French investigators.”
The prosecutor, who did not disclose details about the identity of the suspected thieves or the owner of the farmhouse, said further information would be released on Thursday.
The Bataclan was stormed by Islamist militants during a rock concert in November 2015, as part of coordinated attacks in and around Paris that killed 130 people in total.
Some of Banksy’s other works, addressing issues such as immigration, were vandalised soon after they were put up around Paris, while others were protected by screens.
Street art by Banksy, who keeps his real name secret, has become a prized attractions for collectors. Last October, his artwork depicting MPs in the House of Commons as chimpanzees sold for close to £10m in what organisers said was a record for the artist.
Banksy has recently shown his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, saying “people of colour are being failed by the system”.
The graffiti artist wrote in an Instagram post: “At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue. But why would I do that? It’s not their problem, it’s mine.”
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