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Art thieves remove Banksy mural from Hostomel building

Source: Meduza

One of the murals created by the British street artist Banksy in the Kyiv region was cut away from the facade it decorated.

Sergey Zhuk, who witnessed the attempted theft in the Ukrainian city of Hostomel, posted “before-and-after” photos of the incident on Facebook. “Just a moment ago, right before our eyes, vandals cut out Banksy’s famous work,” he wrote.

The mural depicting a woman in a bathrobe and gas mask holding a fire extinguisher was removed together with a slice of styrofoam insulation, on which it has been painted.

In a comment under his post, Zhuk wrote that the art thieves were immediately arrested. It remains unclear how many people were in the group.

Kyiv regional police told Ukrainskaya Pravda that the art thieves arrested at the scene claimed that they had meant to sell the mural and donate the proceeds to the Ukrainian army. They were charged with “deliberate destruction of property” (Article 194, part 2 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code).

The first Banksy-style murals noticed by locals around Kyiv led to speculations that the artist might have visited Ukraine. Later, he confirmed his authorship of the murals.

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