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

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Illness and injury leaving many Abbotsford firefighters unable to work

More than 20 firefighters missed time due to long-term illness or injury last year

Mouat’s Benning signs with UFV wrestling

Benning one of 10 new recruits inked for the fall

Donation of more than $20,000 supports Shine On Legacy Fund

Fund created in memory of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson

BREAKING: Fire destroys Chilliwack restaurant

Popular Banners Restaurant goes up in flames Sunday morning.

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Serial speeder clocked going 138 km/hr in 90 zone

Driver had their vehicle impounded

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Paul Bennett was ‘a champion for the sport,’ team manager says

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

VIDEO: Plane crashes in Langley farm field (updated)

Plane lost power shortly after takeoff, RCMP told

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

1 man in critical condition after ‘serious’ stabbing in Downtown Eastside: police

Vancouver police say there was an altercation and stabbing appears targeted

Most Read