France arrests six over stolen Banksy artwork

Banksy artwork

Banksy artwork

French authorities arrested six people near the Italian border in France in connection with the theft of a mural by street artist Banksy commemorating the victims of the 2015 Paris terror attacks, sources told Agence France Presse Saturday.

Thieves used an angle grinder to remove the mural of a mourning girl from a steel security door at the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people died during a wave of shootings and bombings across the city that left 130 dead. Speaking with the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, Aquila District Prosecutor Michele Renzi said: "The discovery was made possible by investigations conducted by the district prosecutor in collaboration with the police and French investigators". Two of them have been charged with organising the heist, and the four others with concealment of the stolen artwork, the same sources added. All have been placed in custody awaiting trial.

The mural, which shows a veiled female figure staring mournfully downwards, was found at a farmhouse in central Italy earlier this month, almost a one-and-a-half years after it was removed.

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The portrait of a veiled mourning female figure was stolen from the concert hall's emergency exit door in January 2019.

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The theft caused widespread anger in France. Islamic State later claimed responsibility.

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