Eight people have been arrested in a suburb of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, for attempting to steal a mural by the unknown artist, Banksy. The group wanted to carve works of the British artist Algaffiti from the wall.
The arrested suspects ranged from 27 to 60 years old. They come from Kyiv and Cherkasy, a city below the capital.
The artwork the group had in mind is in a building in Hostomel. It is a picture of a woman in a bathrobe with a gas mask and a fire extinguisher in her hands. The work is in good condition, according to the Ukrainian authorities, despite an attempt to steal it.
The group is caught in the act. One member stated that he wanted to sell the painting to financially support the national armed forces. Whether this was really their intention, the police could not say yet.
Banksy, whose identity remains unknown, confirmed in mid-November that he had painted murals in various places in Ukraine. It concerns seven works in Kyiv, Irpin and Borodyanka, among others.
These artworks are now under surveillance. Kyiv Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said: “These images are symbols of our fight against the enemy. We will do everything we can to preserve this street art as a symbol of our victory.”
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