Eight sentenced for theft of Banksy works of art from the site of the Paris attack | Paris

A French court has convicted eight men of stealing and manipulating a Banksy painting honoring the victims of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

Three men in their 30s who admitted to the 2019 robbery were sentenced to prison terms, one of four years and two of three, although they could serve them with electronic tracking bracelets rather than behind bars.

Another man, a 41-year-old millionaire lottery winner and street art fan accused of being the mastermind of the robbery, was sentenced to three years for receiving stolen property after judges found the main allegation not proven. His sentence will also be served by wearing a bracelet.

Elsewhere in the capital, the defense was making its closing arguments in the trial of survivor suspects of the 2015 Paris attacks, with a verdict expected on June 29.

Banksy painted his “sad girl” artwork on the door of the Bataclan in memory of the 90 people killed in the worst of the November 13, 2015 jihadist attacks which hit several sites around the city. After his early morning robbery on January 26, 2019, police eventually tracked down the door to a farmhouse in Italy.

The men who stole the work had arrived in front of the Bataclan at 4 a.m. on the day of the robbery. They headed to the side of the concert hall down a narrow street where survivors had fled the concert attack in 2015. Security video footage showed three masked men exiting a white van whose license plates registration were hidden.

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Using power tools plugged into a mobile power source, they took just 10 minutes to break through the security entrance and remove the door bearing Banksy’s artwork, which was protected by plexiglass. They put the door in the van and escaped. A few months later, police from outside Lyon linked the robbery of a hardware store where power tools and a mobile power source were taken. The suspects were placed under telephone surveillance, which eventually led police to Italy.

Three men involved in transporting the door were each jailed for 10 months, while a 58-year-old Italian, owner of a hotel where it was temporarily stored, received a six-month suspended prison sentence.

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