A group of thieves have been foiled after they tried to steal a mural by famous street artist Banksy in the suburbs of Kyiv, a Ukrainian official said on Friday.
An image of a woman in a bathrobe and gas mask holding a fire extinguisher was cut from the war-damaged wall on the side of a burnt-out building in the Ukrainian capital’s Hostomel suburb, the Kyiv regional governor said , Oleksii Kuleba, in a message. on his Telegram channel.
He said the thieves “were arrested at the scene” and the image was “in good condition” and under the protection of law enforcement.
“These images are a symbol of our struggle against the enemy,” he added. “These are stories about the support and solidarity of all civilized people with Ukraine. Let’s do everything to preserve street art as a symbol of our future victory.
The mural is one of many Banksy has done in Ukraine since the February 24 Russian invasion.
The artist who keeps his identity a secret posted video footage and images on his Instagram site of several other murals in Horenka and Borodyanka on the outskirts of Kyiv last month.
Some depict Ukrainians doing everyday activities, such as children playing or people bathing. Another depicts a man knocked down in judo by a much smaller child.
Based in England, Banksy’s identity has been the source of intense international speculation since he became active in the 1990s.
His work uses a distinctive stencil technique and is often intended as darkly humorous political satire on themes of poverty and social injustice.
A vocal anti-war activist, Banksy has also painted murals in Gaza and the West Bank.
His work, normally sprayed on the sides of buildings, has already been threatened by thieves. In June, eight were convicted in Paris for the 2019 theft of a Banksy mural from the Bataclan concert hall in Paris which commemorated the victims of a 2015 terrorist attack at the site.