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

Koksilah Bridge to receive seismic upgrades

The nondescript bridge crosses the Koksilah River just north of the Cowichan Bay Road turnoff

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

Priority offenders nabbed in Shawnigan Lake

A prolific offender was nabbed by Shawnigan Lake RCMP after a brief… Continue reading

Lexi Bainas column: Celebrate the solstice or pick up a book

The Cajun Solstice Dance is happening Saturday, June 23.

Mounties raid “extensive” Shawnigan pot grow operation

The execution of three search warrants has yielded three arrests and the… Continue reading

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

Coming up in Cowichan: From Conquering Cobble Hill to a garden tour

Conquer Cobble Hill on Saturday, June 23 Mill Bay Marine Search and… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Guildford Park teacher wins big on ‘Jeopardy!’ game show

Ali Hasan, a New Westminster resident, goes for more winnings tonight

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Most Read