Police in Italy recovered a stolen mural painted by elusive street artist Banksy on the doors of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris—believed to be the artist’s tribute to the victims of the 2015 massacre—in a small Italian city, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
- The painting was found Tuesday in an abandoned farmhouse in Teramo, a city in the Abruzzo region about 90 miles northeast of Rome, Michele Renzo, a prosecutor for Italy’s L'Aquila province told AFP Wednesday.
- The image of a mournful veiled figure had been painted on an emergency door of the Bataclan venue, where 90 people died in an attack by Islamic State gunmen in November 2015.
- The mural was cut out and stolen in one night in 2019, reportedly by a group of people carrying angle grinders who escaped in a truck.
- The operation in Teramo was a collaboration between French investigators and Italian police after unsuccessful searches for the missing door had been done in several European countries for more than a year.
- Most details surrounding the heist and the recovery remain a mystery, including the identity of the thieves and the farmhouse owner, though Renzo said further information will be released Thursday at a press conference.
Street artist Banksy—who keeps their identity under lock and key—is known for their distinctive spray paint style and for their art popping up in unlikely places, from the West Bank to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The image on the Bataclan door was just one of a series of murals attributed to Banksy that emerged in Paris around June 2018, during a trip the artist said was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 student uprising. The most famous street artist in the world, Banksy pieces have fetched upward of $1 million at auction.