People try to steal Banksy mural of woman in gas mask in Ukraine | War news Russia-Ukraine

The police arrest a group of individuals who tried to cut the mural of a war-damaged wall in the town of Hostomel.

A group of people have attempted to steal a mural by graffiti artist Banksy in Ukraine by cutting it off a battle-ravaged wall where it was painted.

The group managed to cut a section of cardboard and plaster depicting a woman in a gas mask and dressing gown holding a fire extinguisher on the side of a scorched building.

They were seen at the scene in the town of Hostomel, near Kiev, and the mural was recovered, Kiev region governor Oleksiy Kuleba said in a statement.

The statue was still intact and police were protecting it, he added.

“After all, these statues are symbols of our fight against the enemy… We will do everything we can to preserve these street artworks as a symbol of our victory,” he said.

The yellow wall appears to have been torn down after a group of people tried to steal Banksy’s mural in the city of Hostomel, Kyiv region [Andrii Nebytov via Telegram/Reuters]

Police released images of the yellow wall with a large patch cut all the way down to the brickwork. A number of people were arrested at the scene, they said.

Banksy, whose work can sell for millions of dollars on the art market, confirmed he painted the mural and six others last month in places hit by heavy fighting after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

One of the other murals shows a gymnast doing a handstand on a pile of concrete rubble. Another shows an old man sitting in a bath.

A third mural depicts a man resembling Russian President Vladimir Putin being flipped over by a child during a judo competition.

Graffiti of a child throwing a man in judo clothing to the ground
Graffiti of a child throwing a man in judo clothes to the ground can be seen on a wall amidst damaged buildings in Borodyanka [File: Ed Ram/Getty Images]

Banksy rose to fame in the city of Bristol, in the South West of England, in the early 1990s.

The anonymous street artist has in the past traveled to areas affected by war and conflict, including the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

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