Earlier, local media reported that Ukrainian police managed to save Banksy’s “Woman in a Gas Mask” painting in Gostomel after a group of eight people nearly stole it. On December 2, thieves hacked work applied to Styrofoam insulation from the wall of a collapsed and abandoned building.
The police quickly arrived at the crime scene, several people were arrested at the scene. The graffiti was not damaged and is being held by law enforcement while the investigation continues, local authorities said. Kyiv Police Chief Andrei Nebytov said in early December that eight people between the ages of 27 and 60 were suspected of involvement in the attempted robbery. Accused of organizing a criminal act – a Kyiv resident, a volunteer Sergei Dovgy, who persuaded several accomplices to help him. During interrogation, he said that he intended to sell the stolen image at auction and allegedly send the proceeds to the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The “Woman in Gas Mask” graffiti was one of seven stencils Banksy painted in Kyiv and various cities in the region in November. All of them are now under police protection.