Ukrainian police have detained a group of offenders who cut off graffiti by British artist Banksy from a wall in Hostomel, a Kyiv suburb devastated by the Russian invasion, chief of the Kyiv Oblast police Andriy Nebytov reported on 2 December.
Eight people aged 27 to 60, residents of Kziv and Cherkasy, were found at the scene. Police seized the graffiti, which was cut out together with part of the wall of the building, and launched a pre-trial investigation. According to the head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration Oleksiy Kuleba, the graffiti was not damaged. While the investigation is ongoing, it is in the possession of law enforcement officers.
“We, in turn, together with the Hostomel community, representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, are consulting on the storage and further fate of graffiti,” Kuleba said.
He added that Banksy’s works in the Kyiv Oblast are under police protection. “After all, these images are a symbol of our struggle against the enemy. These are stories about the support and solidarity of the entire civilized world with Ukraine. We will do everything to preserve the works of street art as a symbol of our future Victory,” Kuleba stressed.
British artist Banksy confirmed that he had painted seven graffiti in Ukraine, in particular, in Kyiv, as well as in Hostomel, Irpen, and Borodianka, which suffered the most from Russian bombing.