Ukraine: Group Attempts to Steal Banksy Mural

On Friday, eight people were detained for trying to steal a mural painted by the British graffiti artist Banksy off the wall of a building near Ukraine's capital Kyiv.

Ukraine: Group Attempts to Steal Banksy Mural
Image credit: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • On Friday, eight people were detained for trying to steal a mural painted by the British graffiti artist Banksy off the wall of a building near Ukraine's capital Kyiv.
  • Before the police caught the group in the city of Hostomel, they had managed to cut a part of the mural bearing the image of a gas mask-wearing gown-clad woman holding a fire extinguisher.
  • According to Kyiv Governor Oleksiy Kuleba, the mural is intact and under the protection of authorities.
  • The mural in Hostomel is one of seven new murals Banksy has created throughout Ukraine. One depicts a gymnast doing a handstand on a pile of rubble in Borodyanka, which a young Ukrainian says "is a symbol that we are unbreakable."
  • Known for sending subtle political messages through his art, Banksy first became known around England's southwest city of Bristol in the early 1990s. He has also traveled to other areas of conflict, including the West Bank and Gaza.
  • Banksy's murals are hugely popular and fetch millions when they go up for auction. Last year, his self-shredded work "Love is in the Bin" was sold for over £18.5M at Sotheby's in London.

Sources: Guardian, Telegraph India, BBC News, Smithsonian Mag, Al Jazeera, and Euro.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by The Conversation. The very nature of street art is that it's a temporary statement subject to the possibility of being removed. While Banksy's work has undoubtedly become a cultural beacon, it seems that, in his case, graffiti isn't a crime until it's stolen.
  • Narrative B, as provided by Diggit Magazine. Banksy's work is far more than just graffiti. It's a political bridge between culture, arts, and activism with historical significance. There's no question that his art should be protected and preserved.

Predictions