Parisians were outraged to discover the theft of a Banksy mural commemorating the victims of the Bataclan massacre on Saturday (26 January 2019).
CCTV footage showed hooded thieves removing the work from the emergency back door of the Bataclan music hall in Paris’ 11th arrondissement on Friday night before fleeing in a white van. They set off an alarm around 4:25am and left a screwdriver at the scene. It is believed they used angle grinders to cut the mural from the door.
The image of a young, grieving woman stencilled in white on the black door appeared there in June 2018 in the Saint-Pierre Amelot alleyway beside the concert venue. Banksy later confirmed it as his own tribute to the 90 people murdered in an Islamist terrorist attack on the Bataclan on 13 November 2015.
2018 was a momentous year for Banksy, from his first foray into Birmingham’s street art scene to his self-shredding artwork auctioned at Sotheby’s London. With 2019 barely begun the elusive street artist looks set to continue dominating the art world headlines this time as the target of art theft.
Mayor of the 11th arrondissement, François Vauglin, said the stolen mural “was an altruistic gesture” to honour the victims of the attack and their loved ones. “People have grabbed it without thinking about everything it represents”, he added. The Bataclan venue tweeted its “profound indignation” that a “symbol of remembrance belonging to all… has been taken from us”.