France arrests six over stolen Banksy artwork – source

FILE PHOTO: Italian Carabinieri military police stand by a mural attributed to British street artist Banksy that was stolen from the Bataclan theatre in Paris, where Islamist militants killed 90 people in 2015, after it was found in a farmhouse in central Italy, in L'Aquila, Italy, June 11, 2020. Ufficio Stampa Carabinieri/Handout via REUTERS

Six people have been arrested in France over the theft of an artwork by the British street artist Banksy that was stolen from the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, a judicial source said on Saturday.

The mural, which shows a veiled female figure staring mournfully downwards, was found at a farmhouse in central Italy earlier this month, nearly a one-and-a-half years after it was removed.

Two of those arrested are under formal investigation on suspicion of theft. The other four are suspected of concealing theft, the source said.

FILE PHOTO: Italian Carabinieri military police stand by a mural attributed to British street artist Banksy that was stolen from the Bataclan theatre in Paris, where Islamist militants killed 90 people in 2015, after it was found in a farmhouse in central Italy, in L’Aquila, Italy, June 11, 2020. Ufficio Stampa Carabinieri/Handout via REUTERS

It is thought the thieves used portable grinders to remove the fire-exit door on which the mural was painted before carrying it off in a van, Italian media reported when the artwork was discovered.

The Bataclan, one of Paris’ best-known rock venues, was stormed by militants during a concert in November 2015, as part of coordinated attacks around the city that killed 130 people.