A Year After It Was Stolen, Banksy’s Paris Mural for the Bataclan Theater Has Been Found in an Italian Farmhouse

The work was taken from a door at the theater in January 2019.

A policeman stands guard near a piece of art attributed to Banksy, that was stolen at the Bataclan in Paris in 2019, and found in Italy, ahead of a press conference in L'Aquila on June 11, 2020. Photo: Filippo Monteforte / AFP via Getty Images.

Police in central Italy have recovered a Banksy artwork that was stolen last year from the door of the Bataclan theater in Paris, where 90 people were killed in a November 2015 terrorist attack.

The Carabinieri paramilitary police in Italy announced yesterday that they discovered the stolen work in the attic of a farmhouse in the Abruzzo region, near the Adriatic coast. A group of Chinese nationals were living in the house but authorities do not believe they were aware of the artwork, according to the Associated Press.

In a press conference held on June 11 in L’Aquila, Italy, police said they were still investigating how the painting came to the country. No arrests have yet been made.

“It belongs to the Bataclan,” Christophe Cengig, a liaison of the French ambassy, said at the event. “It belongs to all of France, in a sense.” Cengig noted that the theater owners “were thrilled, very happy” with the discovery.

The Banksy mural on the exit door of the Bataclan in Paris. The work was stolen early Saturday morning. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images.

The Banksy mural on the exit door of the Bataclan in Paris. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images.

Banksy’s painting, which depicts a somber, veiled woman in white, appeared on one of the theater’s emergency exit doors in June 2018.

It was intended as a memorial to the coordinated terrorist attacks that rocked the French capital the night of November 13, 2015. One hundred and thirty people were killed that night, 90 of whom were attending a concert at the Bataclan when gunmen opened fire. The Islamic State later took credit for the attack.

In January 2019, thieves clad in dark hoods removed the door with angle grinders. It was one of several Banksy artworks in Paris stolen after the artist went on a creative spree in the city in 2018 in a nod to the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 student uprising.

“Today we are deeply indignant,” the Bataclan wrote on Twitter after the work was stolen. “Banksy’s work, a symbol of memory and belonging for everyone—locals, Parisians, citizens of the world—was stolen from us.”

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