It’s about time.
Nearly a year after a Banksy mural was stolen from the Bataclan music venue in Paris in 2019, six people have been arrested and charged with swiping the work of art. The mural, which is painted on a door– was reportedly stolen by thieves using angle grinders, and the venue was rightfully saddened.
“Today we are deeply indignant,” the Bataclan wrote on Twitter after the mural was stolen. “Banksy’s work, a symbol of memory and belonging for everyone—locals, Parisians, citizens of the world—was stolen from us.”
Perhaps more significant than the priceless work going missing was the inspiration behind its creation. Banksy tributed the mural to the tragic Paris attacks in 2015. The terrorist attack took place in November when three suicide bombers struck outside the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, during a football match and was followed by several mass shootings which ultimately led to 130 deaths.
But earlier this month, Italian authorities found the mural in an abandoned farmhouse in Italy’s Abruzzo region. The mural is painted in black and white and features a veiled and mournful woman solemnly looking towards the ground.
Of the six people in custody, two are under investigation for organized theft, and the other four are accused of concealing the robbery while they all await trial.
The England-based street artist shrouded in anonymity is never once to stay quiet when it comes to sociopolitical issues, so it should be no surprise that he spoke up about the protests incited by the murder of George Floyd.
“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,” he wrote. “People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. The faulty system is making their life a misery, but it’s not their job to fix it. They can’t, no one will let them in the apartment upstairs.
He shared his message on Instagram alongside a picture of a framed dark figure with a candle next to it that’s burning the American flag.