Paris court convicts eight men of stealing Banksy artwork from the Paris attack site


Paris
CNN

A Paris criminal court convicted eight men on Thursday of stealing Banksy’s artwork from the Bataclan concert hall, one of the sites of the November 2015 attacks in Paris.

A policeman stands near a piece of art attributed to Banksy, which was stolen in the Bataclan in Paris in 2019 and found in Italy, before a press conference in L'Aquila on June 11, 2020. - The work was found in an abandoned farmhouse in Abruzzo, informed the public prosecutor in L'Aquila on June 10, 2020. (Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP) / Restricted for editorial use - mandatory indication by artist upon publication - to illustrate event as specified in the caption (photo) by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

The artwork known as “Sad Girl” was on the exit door of the Bataclan and was painted in honor of those killed in the hall during the attacks for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility.

The painting showed a sad figure wearing a black and white veil, her head slightly bent as she stared down.

Seven French nationals and one Italian national were sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison, according to a court spokesperson. The convict will not serve the actual prison term but will wear an electronic bracelet.

“I think it’s a wise decision of the court, the ruling recognizes the facts as they are,” said Roman Ruiz, a lawyer for one of the defendants.

The convict had stolen the door in 2019 and shipped it to Italy.

According to CNN affiliate BFMTV, “After investigations, the metal door was found in June 2020 on a farm in Italy, without a plexiglass panel to protect it.”

The eight men had been on trial since 8 June.

When the mural was first stolen, the concert hall tweeted, “It’s a deep sadness that moves us today. Banksy’s work, a symbol of remembrance and belonging for all – locals, Parisians, citizens of the world – was taken from us.”

The Bataclan mural, which appeared in June 2018, was one of several works that Banksy allegedly appeared in Paris that summer.

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