Security systems have been installed across the Kyiv region of Ukraine to protect seven murals painted by the unidentified British artist Banksy, two months after a group of criminals attempted to steal one of the works. Bristol-based Banksy visited the Ukrainian capital in November, using graffiti to paint seven murals on buildings destroyed by Russian shelling by way of offering his commentary on the war. Since he painted his works, Kyiv officials have been debating how to protect the works of art, or whether they should, in fact, be removed from where they were painted.
The first images of the protected works of Banksy’s art have been posted on Telegram after a several months-long debate on what to do with the seven murals.
The deputy head of the Kyiv regional military administration Oleg Torkunov, the head of the Department of Culture and Tourism Anna Kutsenko and the representative of the Ajax Systems company Valentin Hrytsenko attended an event marking the protection of the artwork.
Ajax Systems have installed the security systems around the paintings, which will prevent them being stolen or damaged.
They will be under protection until the question of their museumification is finally resolved.
Locals remain hesitant to remove the pieces given the ostensibly deliberate nature of their placing, namely on buildings destroyed by Russian shelling.
At Banksy’s works in Borodyanka, Irpen and Gorenka, a wireless Ajax security system was installed with a connection to the 24-hour monitoring of the Sheriff security company.
Any attempts to steal or damage the drawings will be instantly responded to by a fast security team.
A presentation was held near one of the works in the village of Borodyanka to launch the security system, attended by officials, local authorities and residents.
The plan was enacted after eight people were arrested for cutting down and attempting to steal the ‘Woman in a gas mask’, which had been graffitied on the wall of a house in Gostomel.
On December 2, around 11:30, the ‘102’ line received a message that unknown persons were cutting down a painting by a world-famous artist, which he had painted on the wall of a house in Gostomel destroyed by Russian troops.
The police detained eight people who tried to transport the graffiti with the help of wooden boards and polyethylene.
During the pre-trial investigation, an art examination was conducted, according to the results of which the value of the painting by the British artist Banksy was estimated at more than £200,000.
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The organiser of the theft faces up to 12 years in prison for the confiscation of property.
On January 6, the court released the volunteer Serhii Dovhy, who cut Banksy’s graffiti from the wall of a house in Gostomel.
The volunteer must wear an electronic bracelet. In February, the regional prosecutor’s office sent charges against a Kyivan who dismantled the graffiti “Woman in gas mask” to the court.
British street artist Banksy confirmed that he created seven murals in Ukraine.
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