Banksy mural 'stolen' from Ukraine suburb is now in the hands of police, officials say

The mural is one of several painted by the artist around Kyiv Credit: Banksy

A Banksy mural in Ukraine that was reported to have been stolen has been recovered by police, and officers say they have arrested the culprits at the scene.

The mural, one of more than half a dozen painted in the war-torn suburbs of Kyiv last month by the Bristolian artist, had been stolen when it was cut and removed from the wall of a burned-out home in Hostomel, near Kyiv.

But now, the local governor of the region, Oleksiy Kuleba, has said the mural is in the hands of the police and the officers have made arrests.

"These images are, after all, symbols of our struggle against the enemy," said Mr Kuleba.

"These are stories about the support and solidarity of the entire civilised world with Ukraine. We'll do everything to preserve these works of street art as a symbol of our victory."

Banksy artwork can be seen on the side of a destroyed building in the town of Borodyanka, near Kyiv. Credit: Banksy/Instagram

Initial reports emerged from Hostomel on Friday (2 Decemeber) that the work of art had been stolen after people there noticed the wall where Banksy had sprayed an image of a woman wearing a gas mask had been cut away.

But police and the regional governor have now confirmed that while the painting had been removed as a theft attempt, those responsible had been arrested.

Police later released pictures of the spot where the painting had been removed, but said they had the painting in their possession and it was intact.