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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: -2°C
Oleksandra Butova/PA The Banksy mural in Hostomel, Kyiv region, before it was removed.
# Ukraine
Ukraine detains eight people over Banksy mural theft
The stencil image of a person in a nightgown and gas mask holding a fire extinguisher went missing yesterday, authorities said.

UKRAINE HAS DETAINED eight people over the theft from a wall in the Kyiv suburbs of a mural painted by elusive British street artist Banksy, authorities said.

The stencil image of a person in a nightgown and gas mask holding a fire extinguisher next to the charred remains of a window in the town of Gostomel went missing yesterday, they said.

“A group of people tried to steal a Banksy mural. They cut out the work from the wall of a house destroyed by the Russians,” Kyiv governor Oleksiy Kuleba said in a post on Telegram late yesterday.

He attached the image of a gaping hole in the wall where the image once stood.

“Several people were detained on the spot,” he said. “The image is in good condition and in the hands of the authorities.”

Other works in the area thought also to be the work of Banksy are under police protection, he said.

Kyiv police chief Andriy Nebitov said “eight people had been identified” as possibly involved, and a preliminary inquiry had been opened into the matter.

“All were aged between 27 and 60 years old. They are residents of Kyiv and Cherkasy” some 200 km southeast of the capital, he said.

Last month, Banksy posted an image of the stencil of a gymnast performing a handstand on the wall of a wrecked building in Borodyanka, another suburb of the capital.

banksys-murals-in-kyiv-region ABACA / PA Images ABACA / PA Images / PA Images
He then posted a video of several more of his artworks, including the person in a gas mask holding the fire extinguisher.

Others included the portraits of a bearded man scrubbing up in a bathtub, and a young boy in a karate outfit slamming his adult opponent to the ground.

Together with towns such as Bucha and Irpin, Borodyanka and Gostomel were severely hit by Russian bombardment after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

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