Ukraine: Banksy mural in Kyiv levered off the wall by thieves

A hole where a Banksy painting was removed

Thieves managed to remove the graffiti from a wall but were caught at the scene (Image: Reuters)

A group of people have managed to steal a Banksy mural from a wall in Ukraine.

Several works by the cult graffiti artist have appeared on the walls of buildings damaged by fighting in November.

His pieces can sell for millions of pounds at auction – and this doesn’t seem to have escaped the notice of opportunistic thieves in Kyiv.

The region’s governor said one group managed to cut off a piece of cardboard and plaster and made off with the painting.

It shows a woman in a gas mask and dressing gown holding a fire extinguisher on the side of a burned building.

They were spotted at the scene in the town of Hostomel, where fierce fighting raged around an airport during the botched attack on the capital.

The mural was found and is being cared for by police, Oleksiy Kuleba said in a statement.

A Banksy painting in Ukraine

The mural shows a woman in a gas mask standing on a chair and holding a fire extinguisher (Image: Ukrinform/Shutterstock)

A Banksy painting in Ukraine

It was painted on the side of a badly damaged building in the Kiev suburb of Hostomel (Photo: Avalon)

A Banksy painting in Ukraine

Other works by the mysterious street artist have surfaced in Ukraine, including this one in Borodyanka (Image: PA)

He added, “These images are, after all, symbols of our fight against the enemy… We will do everything we can to preserve these street artworks as a symbol of our victory.”

Banksy confirmed he had painted the mural and six others over the past month in locations hit by heavy fighting after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

One of the other murals shows a gymnast doing a handstand on a small pile of concrete rubble. Another shows an old man taking a bath.

Police released images of the yellow wall at Hostomel with a large patch cut back to the brickwork.

Several people were arrested at the scene, it said.

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Justin Scacco

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