Eight convicted of theft of Banksy artwork from Paris attack site | Paris

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

Three men in their thirties who admitted to the theft in 2019 received prison terms, one of four years and two of three, although they can serve them with electronic tracking bracelets instead of behind bars.

Another man, a 41-year-old millionaire winner and street art fan accused of masterminding the robbery, was sentenced to three years in prison for handling stolen goods after judges found the main charge unproven. His sentence will also be served with a bracelet.

Elsewhere in the capital, the defense held its final argument in the trial of the surviving suspects of the 2015 Paris attacks, with a verdict expected on June 29.

Banksy painted his ‘sad girl’ work on the door of the Bataclan in memory of the 90 people who died in the worst of the jihadist attacks of November 13, 2015 that hit several locations in the city. After the theft early in the morning of January 26, 2019, police finally tracked down the door to a farmhouse in Italy.

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

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Using power tools connected to a mobile power source, it took them just 10 minutes to bust open the security entrance and remove the door containing the Bansky work, which was protected by Plexiglas. They put the door in the van and escaped. A few months later, police outside Lyon linked the robbery to a hardware store where power tools and a mobile power source had been stolen. The suspects were placed under telephone surveillance, which eventually led police to Italy.

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

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