The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Monday, March 30, 2020


Banksy stolen in Paris for the second time


Even street art is not safe from the smuggling of works of art. Those who have committed this theft will feel as lucky as those who make a nice win with a golden nugget bonus code, but if trying our luck is perfectly legitimate, the same cannot be said of those who deprive the international community of a public work of art.

A mural by the famous artist Banksy has unfortunately been stolen from outside the Centre Pompidou, in Paris. The graffiti represented the rat often painted by the artist and was located on a panel, three meters high, which indicates access to the museum's parking lot, at number 20, rue Beaubourg.

The work was made in June 2018 with the iconic mouse covered with a scarf to hide its nose and equipped with a cutter. According to Banksy's own explanation on his Instagram profile, this was a tribute to "fifty years after the May 1968 revolt in Paris".

This is Banksy's second graffiti work that was stolen in the French capital this year. In January, strangers had removed, using a circular saw, the drawing of a girl with a sad expression, who was on a door of an emergency exit of the Bataclan premises. The mysterious street artist had made it after the attacks of November 13, 2015, in homage to the victims.

With regard to the most recent theft, sources from the Parisian museum point out that, given its "nature as street art, that work does not belong to the Centre Pompidou: we could therefore only file a complaint for damage to the road sign," said sources from the Parisian museum.

The regret is for the lack of protection of a work of art now openly accepted in the circuits of institutional art, and yet if it were owned (as it happened previously and still happens for some murals), wouldn’t it lose that anarchist imprint that distinguishes street art from all other arts?

Given the artistic quotation that Banksy has reached in recent years, one might think that the reasons for the theft can be attributed to a mere matter of money, thus disfiguring the subversive soul of Banksy and his works. The assumptions are based on a fact that had previously happened in Dover last August.

In the small British town, Banksy in 2017 had painted a gigantic European flag depicting a man with a chisel removing the stars painted on it, as a criticism following the Brexit result. Suddenly last month, a sheet appeared on the wall of the building, covering the mural of the street artist.

The mystery was then presumably revealed by the Telegraph, declaring that the Godden family, owner of the building where Banksy's graffiti had appeared, would have completed the evaluation operations for the sale of the piece.

Banksy is an English artist and writer, considered one of the leading exponents of street art, one whose true identity is still unknown. His works are often satirical and cover topics such as politics, culture and ethics. His works combine dark humor with stencil graffiti. His murals of political and social criticism have appeared on the streets, walls and bridges of cities around the world.






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