An artwork by British graffiti artist Banksy that was stolen last year from the Bataclan music hall in Paris has been found by police in central Italy.
The work, which depicted a young female figure with a mournful expression, was painted as a tribute to the victims of the 2015 terror attack at the venue.
It was cut out and removed from one of the venue’s emergency doors by a group of hooded people using angle grinders.
According to La Repubblica it was found in a farmhouse in the Abruzzo region.
The district attorney of the Italian city of L’Aquila, Michele Renzo, said: “The finding was possible following investigations conducted by the district prosecutor in collaboration with the police and the French judiciary.”
The mural had been stolen in January 2019.
After it was taken, the Bataclan posted on Twitter: “Today we are deeply indignant. Banksy’s work, a symbol of memory and belonging for everyone – locals, Parisians, citizens of the world – was stolen from us.”
A press conference is set to be scheduled with further details about how it was found.
Ninety people were killed in November 2015 when armed militants targeted the Bataclan during a concert by rock band Eagles Of Death Metal.
The stencilled mural, described by the venue as “a symbol of recollection”, was one of a series of artworks attributed to Banksy that appeared around Paris in June 2018.
Works by the artist, who keeps his identity a closely guarded secret, are extremely popular and much sought-after.
Last month a new Banksy, showing a young boy playing with a model of an NHS nurse, appeared at Southampton General Hospital.
The largely monochrome painting, which is one square metre, was hung in collaboration with the hospital’s managers in a foyer near the emergency department, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The artist left a note for hospital workers, which read: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white.”
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