January 30, 2023

Xpat Pinoy

XPAT PINOY – World News for Pinoys

Ukraine Arrests 8 for Banksy Wall Theft

Ukraine has arrested eight people for stealing a mural by the elusive British street artist Banksy from a wall in a Kyiv suburb, authorities said.

The stencil image of a person in a nightgown and gas mask holding a fire extinguisher next to the charred remains of a window in the town of Gostomel disappeared on Friday, they said.

“A group of people tried to steal a Banksy mural. They carved the work out of the wall of a house destroyed by the Russians,” Kyiv Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said in a post on Telegram late Friday.

He fixed the image of a gaping hole in the wall where the image once stood.

“Several people were arrested on the spot,” he said. “The picture is in good condition and in the hands of the authorities.”

Other work in the area believed to be Banksy’s is also under police protection, he said.

Kyiv Police Chief Andriy Nebitov said “eight people have been identified as possibly involved” and a preliminary investigation into the matter has been launched.

“All were between 27 and 60 years old. They are residents of Kyiv and Cherkasy, about 200 km (120 miles) southeast of the capital, he said.

Last month, Banksy posted an image of a stencil of a gymnast performing a handstand against the wall of a ruined building in Borodyanka, another suburb of the capital.

He then released a video featuring several more of his artworks, including the person in a gas mask holding the fire extinguisher.

Others included portraits of a bearded man scrubbing himself in a bathtub and a boy in a karate outfit slamming his adult opponent to the ground.

Along with cities like Bucha and Irpin, Borodyanka and Gostomel were hit hard by Russian bombardments after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.