Earlier this month (June 11), Italian authorities announced that they had recovered a Banksy mural originally painted on a door of the Bataclan theatre in Paris, which was stolen back in 2019. Now, French authorities have arrested six suspects connected to the theft.
When the artwork was stolen it caused widespread anger in France, mainly due to the fact that the figure it depicted – a woman in a white veil, head bent in mourning – was meant to commemorate the 2015 terror attacks on the theatre, during which 90 people were killed.
The graffitied door was finally found “hidden well” in the attic of a farmhouse in Italy, near the Adriatic coast (though the residents of the farmhouse were thought to be unaware it was even there, as reported by the Associated Press).
One of the French policemen who intervened in the 2015 attack was present when the door was found, according to the Evening Standard, and was “overcome with emotion”.
Two of the suspects are now under investigation for organised theft, while the other four have been accused of concealing the crime.
Recently, someone also tried to steal a Banksy painting from an NHS hospital in Southampton, England, which paid tribute to medical staff working during the coronavirus pandemic. The potential thief was spotted on security cameras, however, and escorted from the building without police intervention.