Banksy print stolen in Toronto

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gat­ing theft

Cape Breton Post - - ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT - BY PETER GOF­FIN THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

An orig­i­nal print by renowned street artist Banksy was stolen from an unau­tho­rized ex­hi­bi­tion of his works in Toronto, po­lice said Thursday as they in­ves­ti­gated the theft.

The piece val­ued at $45,000 is be­lieved to have been stolen over the week­end, ac­cord­ing to po­lice, who ex­plained that of­fi­cers were called to the “Art of Banksy” ex­hi­bi­tion af­ter gallery staff saw se­cu­rity video show­ing some­one tak­ing the print.

The stolen piece is “Trol­ley Hunters,” which de­picts a group of In­dige­nous peo­ple stalk­ing shop­ping carts in tall grass, said Corey Ross, pres­i­dent of Star­vox En­ter­tain­ment, a com­pany that helped put on the show.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful piece and we hope to get it back,” said Ross, adding that he would not com­ment fur­ther dur­ing the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The print was taken shortly af­ter 5 a.m. on Sun- day, po­lice said Thursday af­ter­noon as they re­leased se­cu­rity video of the theft. The clip shows a man en­ter­ing the dis­play area, pick­ing up the print and leav­ing the way he came, which po­lice de­scribed as an “in­te­rior door.”

The ex­hi­bi­tion, or­ga­nized by Banksy’s for­mer man­ager Steve Lazarides, opened on Wednesday. Banksy, a se­cre­tive artist known for cheeky sten­cils and il­licit, po­lit­i­cally charged graf­fiti, has not en­dorsed it.

Lazarides has billed “The Art of Banksy” as the largest col­lec­tion of the U.K. artist’s work ever put on dis­play, con­tain­ing about $35 mil­lion worth of art.

The show is made up of about 80 orig­i­nal pieces, sev­eral of which are owned by pri­vate col­lec­tors.

It in­cludes some of Banksy’s most fa­mous works, in­clud­ing “Bal­loon Girl,” in which a young girl lets go of a heartshaped bal­loon and “Flag Wall,” a riff on the im­age of U.S. sol­diers rais­ing a flag at Iwo Jima.

The artist’s work has a broad ap­peal, Lazarides said.

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