A STOLEN BANKSY'S BATACLAN WORK FOUND IN ITALY

An artwork by British graffiti artist Banksy that was stolen last year from the Bataclan music hall in Paris has been found by police in central Italy.

By Balthazar Malevolent

A STOLEN BANKSY'S BATACLAN WORK FOUND IN ITALY

In January 2019, an artwork of Banksy painted on a door of the Bataclan in homage to the victims of the 2015 attacks has been stolen following a commando operation worthy of a bank robbery involving grinders and balaclavas. The painting was finally uncovered by the police in the attic of an Italian house after a year and a half of searching.

Banksy's artwork stolen form Paris' Bataclan theater.

Painted in white on a black background, the young woman watches weeping at the floor. Banksy did this stencil work outside of the Bataclan in June 2018 in commemoration of the 90 victims of the November 2015 attack at the Parisian music hall. The painting has been put on one of the emergency doors through which many fans tried to flee from the terrorists at the Eagles of Death Metal concert.

Banksy's work these days evokes more than just a bit of interest. While often meant only to be ephemeral, his stencilled works of art have reached a level of popularity that sees them going for staggering prices, just like the work "Girl with balloon" that was sold at auction in 2018 for more than a million pounds. During a commando-esque operation in 2019, a group of robbers managed to cut off the building's black door, taking with it the portrait of the women consumed in grief. The theft prompted a response from a mysterious web user called Bryan S Gaakman, anagram of "Banksy anagram", and one of the pseudonyms of the artist. Relaying the 'wanted' notice soon after the crime, he also arranged a fundraiser for the victims of 13th November, raising more questions about his true identity.

Finally, Wednesday 10th June saw the long-awaited moment: the artwork stolen from the Bataclan was eventually found in the attic of a Tortoreto house in central Italy during a joint operation of French and Italian police, the Aquila prosecutor announced on Thursday 11th June. It appeared this tribute was almost impossible to sell, at least on the legal circuit. Authorities are currently seeking to identify the root of the crime and the causes.

For the artist, whose works are regularly looted, even very recently, that theft was far from the first. Banksy donated his painting "Game Changer" to one of the NHS hospitals on May 6th. A man stormed the hospital two days later, armed with a drill, and attempted to rob the artwork before the security services interfered.

Another day, another mega-designer robbing a young artist. So the practice that there is a whole Instagram account dedicated to calling out high-end brands for stealing ideas is commonplace. In 2019, it was Rick Owens that got under scrutiny.

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