A Banksy mural stolen from the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, where terrorists killed 90 people in 2015, has been found in Italy.
The image of a mourning veiled woman was painted on an emergency exit door of the venue by the British street artist, who chooses to keep his identity a secret, in memory of the victims of the attack in November 2015.
It was cut out and removed from the venue in 2019 by a “group of hooded individuals armed with angle grinders” who drove away with it in a van, French prosecutors said at the time.
But yesterday, after extensive investigations across Europe, police searched a farmhouse in Teramo, in the eastern Italian region of Abruzzo, and found the mural.
Michele Renzo, the head of the L’Aquila district prosecutor’s office, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “The finding was possible following investigations conducted by the district prosecutor in collaboration with the police and the French investigators.”
He gave no details about the suspects or the people who own the farmhouse, but promised to release further information soon.
Islamic terrorists forced their way into the Bataclan venue during a rock concert as part of coordinated attacks on the French capital that killed 130 people.
Staff described Banksy‘s work as a “symbol of recollection” and expresed their profound sadness when it was taken.
It shows the scene of a vigil with a candle setting the American flag on fire and was posted with the caption: “At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue. But why would I do that? It’s not their problem, it’s mine.”
Banksy posted another image online this week.
It also focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement and offers a suggestion of what to do with the plinth in his home city of Bristol where a statue of slave trader Edward Colston stood before anti-racism protesters pulled it down.
He wrote of it: “What should we do with the empty plinth in the middle of Bristol? Here’s an idea that caters for both those who miss the Colston statue and those who don’t.
“We drag him out the water, put him back on the plinth, tie cable round his neck and commission some life size bronze statues of protesters in the act of pulling him down. Everyone happy. A famous day commemorated.”