Thieves who stole Banksy’s Bataclan mural found guilty in France
Eight people have been found guilty of stealing a mural by street artist Banksy from the famous Bataclan concert hall in Paris.
In June 2018, the graffiti artist created a mural of a veiled female figure on a fire exit door at the venue where 90 people were killed by Islamist gunmen during a wave of attacks across the French capital on November 13 in 2015.
The door, stolen in January 2019, was found in 2020 in a farmhouse by the Italian police and returned to France.
Three of the men involved in the theft were captured on surveillance camera but identified after police tracked their phones following a separate theft.
They used a crowbar and angle grinder to prise it free in a crime that lasted just minutes, the court heard earlier this month.
The shortest sentence was six months suspended, while the harshest was a four-year prison sentence, two of which were suspended.
However, none of them are likely to go to jail as they have already served some of the sentences.
The trio who captured the door admitted theft but disputed who was behind the crime.
The other men were found guilty of receiving stolen goods.
Ninety people were killed inside the Bataclan during the coordinated attacks across Paris by Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers that caused 130 fatalities in total.
“Many people in the (Bataclan) audience escaped through this emergency door. It lived, heard and saw the whole massacre,” French Ambassador to Rome Christian Masset said at the time the door was found in Italy.
It is not the first time that a Banksy piece has been targeted by thieves.
A decade ago, a valuable painting of a rat carrying a suitcase was stolen from a meter box outside a house in the Australian city of Melbourne.