Italy all set to return Banksy's stolen Bataclan artwork to France

The painting was found in the attic of an abandoned farmhouse in Italy's Abruzzo last month.

AFP
The date of the artwork's return to France has not yet been disclosed.
ROME: Rome returned a stolen Banksy artwork to France on Tuesday after the famed street artist's homage to the victims of the 2015 Paris attacks was found in Italy.

The image of a young girl in mourning was painted with stencil and white paint on an emergency door of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris where Islamic State gunmen killed 90 people nearly five years ago.

It was found in the attic of an abandoned farmhouse in the central Italian region of Abruzzo last month.


The chief prosecutor of L'Aquila, the capital of Abruzzo, and the head of Italy's police in charge of cultural heritage handed over the work to France's ambassador Christian Masset at a Bastille Day ceremony.

The artwork was then displayed inside the French embassy in Rome's Farnese Palace.

Masset said at the handover ceremony that it was through the emergency door "by which numerous people escaped and are alive today."
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"It has a dual significance because it reminds us of the 90 victims... and it was a witness to the massacre" at the Bataclan, he added.

The date of the artwork's return to France has not yet been disclosed.

Italian news agency AGI reported that it could be exhibited at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, a claim not immediately confirmed by the UN cultural agency.

Works by Banksy, known for their distinctive style, irreverent humour and thought-provoking themes, have been found on walls, buildings and bridges from the West Bank to post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.
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At auction, works by the artist -- who keeps his identity secret -- have sold for more than $1 million.

​In January last year, hooded thieves managed to nab the Bataclan work by cutting through the metal door of the club​.
In January last year, hooded thieves managed to nab the Bataclan work by cutting through the metal door of the club.

Theft captured on video
In January last year, hooded thieves managed to nab the Bataclan work by cutting through the metal door of the club, a scene captured on video by surveillance cameras.
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Last month, six people were arrested in France over the theft. Two were charged with robbery in an organised gang and the other four with receiving stolen goods.

However Italy's AGI has reported that a total of eight people have been arrested, including two French-born Italian suspects, and that a suspected accomplice remains on the run.

Banksy, one of the world's most highly regarded contemporary artists, blitzed Paris during a whirlwind trip in 2018.

The Bataclan door is not the only of his works to have been stolen in the French capital, some of which have since been recovered.

Others include a mural of a businessman in a suit offering a dog a bone, having just sawn the animal's leg off, and an image of a masked rat wielding a box cutter, which disappeared from outside the Pompidou Centre.

Fans have covered some of his Paris street art with Plexiglass to protect them.

The artist is known to shine a spotlight on social issues such as migration and racism.

In recent weeks, he has posted on his Instagram account a drawing showing a lit candle setting fire to the American flag above a picture of a black man, in homage to George Floyd, the US man whose death in police custody ignited protests across the country.

Banksy has also posted a drawing of people pulling down a statue, a reference to attacks on monuments or statues of historical figures linked to slavery or colonisation.


From Rare Pokemon Cards To Empty Frames, Bizarre Pieces Of Artwork That Were Sold For Millions
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An artwork called ‘Comedian’ created by an Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, which was recently sold for a whopping $121,000 (approximately Rs. 86.07 lakhs), has become the talk of the town.

The artwork, to everyone’s surprise, was a mere banana held against the wall using a duct tape. The rather puzzling piece of art being sold for such a massive amount, left the netizens scratching their heads in amazement. Things took a rather dramatic turn when performance artist David Datuna ended up taking the banana off the wall and eating it while the artwork was on display at an international gallery, Perrotin, at Art Basel in Miami.

However, the banana-duct tape ensemble is not the only bizarre piece of artwork that has made a massive amount of money. Several ridiculous and weird pieces of artwork have been sold for millions of dollars in the last decade. Here are some of them.

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It is a popular saying that when you look at the world through rose-tinted glasses, you might end up missing out on some red flags. Gerhard Richter, a German visual artist, created a unique piece of artwork, which was essentially a mirror, painted in red.

In October 2012, Richter's Abstraktes Bild set an auction record price for a painting by a living artist at £21m ($34m, approximately Rs, 3.4 crores). This was exceeded in May 2013 when his 1968 piece Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral square, Milan) sold for $37.1 million (£24.4 million, approximately Rs. 2.44 crores) in New York.

Seems like Richter wanted to paint the town red, after all!

It is a popular saying that when you look at the world through rose-tinted glasses, you might end up missing out on some red flags. Gerhard Richter, a German visual artist, created a unique piece of ..
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Pokemon is the global phenomenon that has taken the world by storm and back in the previous decade, several people were fond of collecting Pokemon cards and tazos. However, there was one sought-after, coveted card which was sold at an auction for $224,500 (approximately Rs. 1.59 crores) according to gaming news site, Kotaku.

What’s so special about the card, you ask? The card was special because it was handed out as a prize in the competitions in the year 1998. Only 39 of these cards were made, making them very rare.

Pokemon is the global phenomenon that has taken the world by storm and back in the previous decade, several people were fond of collecting Pokemon cards and tazos. However, there was one sought-after..
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Being away from home for long durations can be quite a daunting feeling. To cure us of overpowering feelings of homesickness, British artist Tracey Emin came up with an artwork called ‘My Bed’ in 1998.

‘My Bed’, consisted of Emin’s bed full of soiled bedsheets stained with bodily secretions, condoms, knickers with menstrual blood stains and everyday objects like slippers. ‘My Bed’ was bought by Charles Saatchi for £150,000 (approximately Rs. 1.4 crore) and displayed as part of the first exhibition when the Saatchi Gallery opened its new premises at County Hall, London.

Being away from home for long durations can be quite a daunting feeling. To cure us of overpowering feelings of homesickness, British artist Tracey Emin came up with an artwork called ‘My Bed’ in 199..
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If you feel bizarre pieces of Modern Art were a rarity in the 20th Century, you’re wrong. In 1961, an Italian artist Piero Manzoni, created a piece of art that raised several eyebrows. Called, ‘Artist’s Shit’, the artwork by Manzoni consists of 90 tin cans filled with feces.

Each can weighs around 30 grams. The most bizarre and confusing fact about ‘Artist’s Shit’, is that a single tin of the ‘artwork’ was sold for €124,000 (approximately Rs. 97.57 lakhs) on Sotheby, one of the largest brokers of fine and decorative art on May 23, 2007.

Another can was sold in October 2008 for £97,250 (approximately Rs. 91.12 lakhs). Needless to say, the buyers spent a humongous amount on..err...a piece of crap.

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Venus de Milo is a popular ancient Greek statue located in Louvre Museum. Zhu Cheng, one of China’s most renowned sculptors, helped nine art students recreate Venus de Milo’s statue using excrement. It is placed in a transparent box at Henan Art Museum in Zhengzhou city, China, so that the spell of poop doesn’t drive everyone away.

The statue was purchased by a Swiss art collector for a staggering 300,000 yuan ($45,113 approximately Rs. 32.09 lakhs).

Venus de Milo is a popular ancient Greek statue located in Louvre Museum. Zhu Cheng, one of China’s most renowned sculptors, helped nine art students recreate Venus de Milo’s statue using excrement. ..
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Every piece of artwork, it is often argued, should push the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable in the society. The piece of artwork called ‘Piss Christ’, by the American artist and photographer Andres Serrano, pushed the boundaries a little too far.

‘Piss Christ’, is essentially a photograph of the Crucifix,a holy Christian symbol submerged in the artist’s urine. To no one’s surprise, the piece of ‘art’ caused a massive outrage and major controversy, with Serrano receiving death threats and hate mail. However, the bizarre artwork received a funding of $15,000 (Rs.10.67 lakhs) from the taxpayer’s money.

Several others alleged that the government funding of the artwork violated the principle of separation of Church and State.

Every piece of artwork, it is often argued, should push the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable in the society. The piece of artwork called ‘Piss Christ’, by the American artist and photographer ..
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If you are a fan of big blank walls in your home and workspace, chances are, you would absolutely adore the ‘non-existent’ art sold by Museum of Non-Visible Art, based in New York. The people behind the museum, call the art ‘non-visible’.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, the artworks are essentially pieces of empty frames. The art exists only in the imagination of the artist. As per a report by npr.org, a woman in 2011, paid $10,000 (Rs. 7.11 lakhs) for a piece called ‘fresh art’ by the museum.

Looks like the museum took the popular quote ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’ too literally.

If you are a fan of big blank walls in your home and workspace, chances are, you would absolutely adore the ‘non-existent’ art sold by Museum of Non-Visible Art, based in New York. The people behind ..
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Gignac came up with a souvenir which is essentially a nicely-packaged cube containing garbage from New York City. In no time, people started viewing the souvenirs as a piece of art, thereby proving Gignac’s point. The cubes were sold for as high as $50-$100 (approximately Rs. 3,550- Rs. 7,113).

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The artist recently recreated the scene where ‘The Three Wise Men’, come to shower baby Jesus with gifts. The scene of Christ’s nativity was created entirely using Cheetos cheese puffs and gained massive appreciation from Huot’s fans.

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