People cut Banksy mural off battle-scarred Ukraine wall
A group of people tried to take a mural by British street artist Banksy in Ukraine on Friday by cutting it off a battle-scarred wall where it was painted, the governor of Kyiv region said.
The group managed to slice off a section of board and plaster bearing the image of a woman in a gas mask and dressing gown holding a fire extinguisher on the side of a scorched building.
"They (people that tried to take the mural) said that they have decided it with him (Banksy). And we ask them, 'Nobody has ever seen him! How could you decide that with him?'" Alyona, a local resident who confronted the disturbers, told Reuters.
Eight people were spotted at the scene in the city of Hostomel near Kyiv and the mural was retrieved, according to Andrii Nebytov, chief of Kyiv region National Police.
"The expertise will determine the value of the object. Then the detectives and the prosecutors will determine the qualification of such actions," said Nebytov
The image was still intact and police were protecting it, he added.
"We planned to cut out this mural to be later placed on a new building. This is our life; this is our memory. The people want to keep it in the community,” said Anna Filipova, a local resident.
Banksy, whose work can sell for millions of dollars on the art market, confirmed he had painted the mural and six others last month in places that were badly affected by heavy fighting after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.
Russia's war in Ukraine is now in its tenth month. Moscow's forces were pushed back from around Kyiv in the first phase of the war, but fighting rages on in the east and south.