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Ukrainian police foil attempt to steal Banksy mural

Police in Ukraine on Friday arrested eight people for trying to steal a mural by graffiti artist Banksy. Photo provided by Kiev Regional Government/Telegram
Police in Ukraine on Friday arrested eight people for trying to steal a mural by graffiti artist Banksy. Photo provided by Kiev Regional Government/Telegram

Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Eight people who attempted to steal a mural by graffiti artist Banksy off the wall of a war-torn building in the Ukrainian city of Hostomel have been arrested, officials said Saturday.

Police said the group cut off a section of board and plaster bearing the artwork of a woman in a gas mask.

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Eight people were arrested at the scene in the town near Kyiv. The graffiti is undamaged and police are protecting it, the governor of Kyiv region, Oleksiy Kuleba, said on Telegram.

"These images are, after all, symbols of our struggle against the enemy," he said. "These are stories about the support and solidarity of the entire civilized world with Ukraine.

"We'll do everything to preserve these works of street art as a symbol of our victory."

Banksy, whose identity is unknown, is one of the most well-known street artists in the world and he has confirmed that he is behind pieces that have appeared in areas of Ukraine that had been attacked by Russian forces.

Banksy's pieces regularly fetch millions at auction, creating an incentive for thieves to take his public work, according to Forbes.

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Banksy is one of the world's most famous artists, rising to prominence with stenciled designs in Britain in the early 1990's.

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