Eight convicted over theft of Banksy artwork from Paris attack site

A French court has convicted eight men for the theft and handling of a Banksy painting paying homage to the victims of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

Three men in their 30s who admitted to the 2019 theft were given prison sentences, one of four years and two of three, although they will be able to serve them wearing electronic tracking bracelets rather than behind bars.

Another man, a 41-year-old millionaire lottery winner and street art fan accused of being the mastermind of the heist, was given three years in jail for handling stolen goods after judges found the main allegation unproven. His sentence will also be served with a bracelet.

Elsewhere in the capital, the defence was making its final argument in the trial of the surviving suspects in the 2015 Paris attacks ellos mismos, with a verdict expected on 29 junio.

British street artist Banksy painted his “sad girl” work on the door of the Bataclan in memory of the 90 people killed in worst of the 13 noviembre 2015 jihadist attacks that hit several sites around the city.

After its theft early in the morning of 26 enero, 2019, police eventually tracked the door to a farm in Italy.

The men who stole the work had arrived outside the Bataclan at 4am on the day of the robbery. They headed to the side of the concert hall on a narrow street where survivors had fled the concert attack in 2015. Security video footage showed three men in masks exiting a white van whose number plates were hidden.

Using electric tools plugged into a mobile power source, they took only 10 minutes to break open the security entrance and remove the door bearing the Bansky work, which was protected by plexiglass. They placed the door in the van and escaped. Unos meses después, police outside Lyon made a connection with the robbery of a hardware store where electric tools and a mobile power source were taken. The suspects were placed under telephone surveillance, which eventually led the police to Italy.

Three men involved in transporting the door were each jailed for 10 meses, while a 58-year-old Italian man who owns a hotel where it was stored temporarily received a six-month suspended sentence.




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