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18 Months After Theft, Banksy Piece Found in Attic

Authorities recover mural dedicated to Bataclan victims
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 11, 2020 8:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – Italian authorities on Thursday unveiled a stolen artwork by the British artist Banksy that was painted as a tribute to the victims of the 2015 terror attacks at the Bataclan music hall in Paris. The L'Aquila prosecutors' office said the work was recovered Wednesday during a search of a home in Tortoreto, a city near the Adriatic coast in the Abruzzo region's Teramo province. It had been "hidden well" in the attic, prosecutors said in a statement. Authorities say they're still investigating how the artwork arrived in Italy and the role of the Italians involved. At a Thursday presser, an official noted that Chinese nationals who reside at the home where the artwork was found appeared to be unaware it was there, but that someone else had access to the attic, reports the AP.

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Authorities said the discovery was the fruit of a joint Italian-French police investigation. French officials last year announced the theft of the piece, a black image appearing to depict a person mourning that had been painted on one of the Bataclan's emergency exit doors. Per the BBC, it was cut from the door in January 2019 by "a group of hooded people using angle grinders." The stenciled mural was one of several pieces of artwork said to have been created by Banksy that popped up in Paris in June 2018. Ninety people were killed at the Bataclan on Nov. 13, 2015, when Islamic extremists invaded the music hall, one of several targets that night in which a total of 130 people died.

(Read more Banksy stories.)

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