A preview of the Art of Banksy exhibit at 213 Sterling Road in Toronto is pictured on Monday, June 11, 2018. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press)

Banksy print stolen in Toronto, police investigating theft

Lazarides has billed ‘The Art of Banksy’ as largest collection of U.K. artist’s work ever displayed

An original print by renowned street artist Banksy was stolen from an unauthorized exhibition of his works in Toronto, police said Thursday as they investigated the theft.

The piece valued at $45,000 is believed to have been stolen over the weekend, according to police, who explained that officers were called to the “Art of Banksy” exhibition after gallery staff saw security video showing someone taking the print.

The stolen piece is ”Trolley Hunters,” which depicts a group of Indigenous people stalking shopping carts in tall grass, said Corey Ross, president of Starvox Entertainment, a company that helped put on the show.

“It’s a beautiful piece and we hope to get it back,” said Ross, adding that he would not comment further during the police investigation.

The print was taken shortly after 5 a.m. on Sunday, police said Thursday afternoon as they released security video of the theft. The clip shows a man entering the display area, picking up the print and leaving the way he came, which police described as an “interior door.”

The exhibition, organized by Banksy’s former manager Steve Lazarides, opened on Wednesday. Banksy, a secretive artist known for cheeky stencils and illicit, politically charged graffiti, has not endorsed it.

Lazarides has billed ”The Art of Banksy” as the largest collection of the U.K. artist’s work ever put on display, containing about $35 million worth of art.

The show is made up of about 80 original pieces, several of which are owned by private collectors.

It includes some of Banksy’s most famous works, including ”Balloon Girl,” in which a young girl lets go of a heart-shaped balloon and ”Flag Wall,” a riff on the image of U.S. soldiers raising a flag at Iwo Jima.

Lazarides said prior to the show’s launch that he and Banksy have not spoken in about a decade.

“To be honest this isn’t a Banksy exhibition, it is an exhibition of Banksy’s art and I think there’s a big difference between the two,” he said.

The artist’s work has a broad appeal, Lazarides said.

“It was (always) a very wide spread of people,” he said. ”It wasn’t just graphic designers in backpacks that were liking his work in the beginning.”

“The Art of Banksy” runs until July 11.

Peter Goffin , The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Third elephant seal moults on Gonzales Beach

Victoria City staff were out Monday morning shifting pylons to protect an… Continue reading

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Suman, mom of Reena Virk, has died

Mother of 1997 murder victim became an activist against bullying

First Vancouver Island heat wave of the summer is here

Environment Canada issues a special weather statement as temperatures creep into the 30s

Does a creature lurk beneath Caddy Bay?

Researchers on hunt for Cadborosaurus, with sightings dating back centuries along the B.C. coast

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

CRD tightens leash on dog walkers

Five regional parks in Sooke now have new restrictions on dogs

North Island College gets $328,000 for forestry education funding

Announcement in Campbell River part of $1 million around B.C.

Body discovered in Port Alberni building

RCMP turn investigation over to BC Coroner’s office

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Most Read