Two stolen Banksy works of art are found in Paris while the alleged thief is charged
- Banksy’s trademark symbol of a masked rat using a box knife was stolen
- Thieves saw the statue from the back of a sign outside the Pompidou Center
- The man charged with “stealing a cultural property” is one of three arrested men
A man has been charged after the recovery of two stolen Banksy artworks in Paris.
An image of a masked rat using a box cutter – the trademark symbol of the elusive British artist – disappeared outside the Pompidou Center in September, a year after Bansky ‘blinded’ the French capital with murals.
The museum, which houses Europe’s largest collection of modern art but does not have Bansky, had filed a police complaint for the destruction of property.
The man in charge of ‘stealing a cultural property’ is one of three men arrested earlier this week in and around Paris.
An image of a masked rat using a box knife – the alter ego that the elusive British artist often uses – disappeared outside the Pompidou Center in September
Two of Banksy’s works were found in follow-up investigations by the police, but the stencil work on the back of a sign for the Pompidou parking lot is still missing.
Thieves used a saw to cut it from the board.
The Pompidou theft came seven months after another Banksy work to pay tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 was stolen from outside the Bataclan, the concert location where armed Islamic State members massacred 90 people.
Another anti-capitalist mural attributed to the mysterious street artist disappeared shortly after the whirlwind voyage of Banksy, whose highly political artist said he would mark the 50th anniversary of the Paris student uprising in 1968.
It contained a businessman in a suit who offered a dog a bone after the animal’s leg was cut off.
A source close to the investigation said they were trying to determine if the restored artworks were original Banksys or copies.
The other two suspects who were arrested on Tuesday were released later.
Thieves used a saw to cut it from the board, which appeared as part of a ‘Banksy blitz’ in Paris in 2018
Banksy seemed to authenticate eight of his works in Paris shortly after his trip on his Instagram account.
The most dramatic was a Jacques-Louis David ‘Napoleon Crossing the Alps’ pastiche, with Bonaparte wrapped in a red niqab that appeared on a wall in an ethnically mixed district in northern Paris.
Banksy had previously praised the French capital as “the birthplace of modern stencil art.”
He took over the rat as his avatar – a symbol of the corrupt and oppressed – in honor of the Paris street artist Blek le Rat, who began in 1968 when a general strike by students and workers brought France to a halt.
The artist’s work was sold at auction for more than $ 1 million and fans had some of his Paris works covered with Plexiglass to protect them.
But one of a migrant girl was painted with blue paint shortly after the news of his discovery on social media.