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Stolen Tribute: The Banksy Artwork Taken From Bataclan Theater Was Dedicated To Terror Attack Victims

Incognito Artist

An anonymous and world-renowned street artist, Banksy had his artwork begin appearing in the late 1990s, and to this day, the age-long question still exists as to who this political artist really is.

True to his anti-war agenda, the figure was keen to pay his respects by creating the mural during the summer of 2018, three years after the atrocities took place. The painting of a young, mournful-looking girl was formed on the emergency exit door at the Bataclan theater in Paris, France.

Mourning Paris

But what really happened? 13th November 2015 is forever remembered as a day which saw the whole of Paris stand together in fear, as the city was bombarded by a series of terror attacks. Shootings from Islamic extremists killed a total of 130 people, with 90 of those being part of the attack at the Bataclan theater, a renowned rock music venue.

Some of the survivors of the attack were able to share their stories of the traumatic event. Michael O’Connor, a member of the audience describes the incident: “I remember dancing and hearing ‘Pop, pop, pop.’ People started dropping to the floor. Everyone was in a panic, and it was difficult to move.”

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Now we know the story behind the mural, it makes it that much more heartbreaking to hear about these recent events. The following morning of the incident, police confirmed a “group of hooded individuals” were seen on Friday night near the Bataclan theater. Using angle grinders, they seized Banksy’s piece and ran away with it in their truck.

What’s the verdict? The Bataclan expressed nothing but outrage in response to the incident via a Facebook post, and rightly so in our opinion. Here’s a rough translation of how the statement begins: It is a deep outrage that animates us today. Banksy’s work, a symbol of contemplation and belonging to all (…) has been stolen.

The announcement takes almost an apologetic turn as they mention the significance of Banksy placing the mural by the emergency exit so that anyone could access it.

Searching for the Thieves

Like us, you’re probably wondering what the next steps are to this distressing scandal. Police have confirmed an investigation is underway to capture the thieves who stole the commemorative painting.

For those of you aware of the weird and wonderful ways of the artist, the following information may come as less of a surprise to you…

The Artist that Always Keeps Us Guessing…

Was the culprit Banksy himself? An assumption that seems almost absurd when you first consider it but hear us out: Last October, Banksy’s ‘Girl with a Balloon’ painting appeared to shred itself upon being presented in an auction for approximately $1.4 million. Not long after, Banksy posted a video to Instagram admitting it was all his doing; he placed the shredder inside the image. Why? He wanted to poke a bit of fun at the art world, as it turns out the shredded image is now worth more than the original…controversial or what?!

So, no one really knows at this point whether Banksy will be pleading guilty. He has a lot of explaining to do this time if he was behind it, given the emotional context of the painting, would he have gone too far this time?