The Paris Criminal Court ruled this Thursday afternoon on the fate of eight men, suspected of the theft or concealment in 2019 of a Bataclan door decorated with a painting by Banksy, considered a tribute to the victims of the 13-November. They were given sentences ranging from a suspended sentence to two years in prison for having stolen or transported this work to Italy.
Three thirty-year-olds who admitted the theft, committed on the night of January 25 to 26, 2019, were sentenced to one of four years in prison, including two years, for the other two to three years in prison, including 18 months. Contrary to the requisitions of the public prosecutor, who had asked for a continuation or a return to detention, they will serve the firm part of their sentence under an electronic bracelet.
In the last hours of the trial, which took place from June 8 to 10, the public prosecutor had requested 18 months to four years in prison for the seven French defendants and the Italian defendant, aged 31 to 58. . This decision comes as the final arguments of the defense in the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015, where the verdict is expected on June 29, are taking place in another building.
The “sad girl”, claimed by the street artist with a mysterious identity, had been painted with a stencil in June 2018 in the passage Saint-Pierre-Amelot, an alley by which many spectators fled the attack which targeted the theater.
On January 26, 2019, shortly after 4 a.m., three masked men had cut the metal door supporting the work, taking it away in a white van with hidden plates, in eight minutes.
This disappearance had aroused “deep indignation”, in the words of the Bataclan team. This “symbol of meditation and belonging to all, residents, Parisians, citizens of the world, has been taken away from us”, she lamented. The door was finally found in June 2020 in the attic of a farm in Italy.
The prosecution described the theft as a “structured organization” and saw it as “scavenging behavior”. The defense described a gang of “nickel feet” who failed to measure the door’s memorial range.
” The bait of gain “
Three thirty-somethings admitted the theft, one of them claiming to have been “threatened” and forced to participate. They mentioned an operation mounted by greed, due to the exponential rating of Banksy on the art market, without thinking of the “symbol”.
Two appeared free, a third in pre-trial detention: the prosecutor requested four years of imprisonment, for the first two, as well as three years against the last.
The representative of the public prosecutor also claimed six years, three of which are firm, with a fine of 150,000 euros, for a 41-year-old man, a millionaire after winning the lottery and a fan of street-art, considered by the prosecution to be the “sponsor” of the wrongdoing.
The latter claimed on the contrary to have been “given a fait accompli”, to have accepted out of friendship to keep the door then wanted to “remove the problem” towards Italy.
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Three men, who participated in different stages of the transport, as well as the owner of the Hotel des Abruzzes where the door was once stored, admitted the facts, however denying having known the real nature of the work. Penalties ranging from three years’ imprisonment, including 18 months firm, to four years, including two firm, accompanied by a fine of 1,500 to 50,000 euros, were required against them.