Ukrainian authorities have installed shock-proof coverings over several murals painted by Banksy around the capital city of Kyiv that were damaged early in the war with Russia.
Kyiv’s Regional Military Administration said Wednesday that the transparent polycarbonate sheets were “impact resistant,” and that they would protect the paintings against “vandals” and “adverse weather conditions.” The war, which marks its one-year anniversary today, was not explicitly cited. However, the statement added that the new security measures would defend against “the influence of external factors.”
Oleg Torkunov, the deputy head of the organization, said the paintings “have cultural and historical significance for the country as a reminder that light must overcome darkness.”
The paintings will also be defended by wireless motion sensors, which activate a siren nearby and alert the authorities to the attempted vandalism. “Now it is important to counter possible attempts at vandalism, which we have already seen recently,” Torkunov said.
In December, police arrested eight people who tried to steal a mural featuring a woman who wears a gas mask and holds a fire extinguisher. That work appeared on a ruined home in the city of Hostomel, just outside Kyiv. The piece is one of several left by Banksy that began appearing, without much fanfare, on the artist’s Instagram account in 2022. According to the Washington Post, the lead suspect could face up to 12 years in prison for attempting to remove the section of the wall containing the painting.
Other murals in the series feature a small boy throwing a grown man to the ground during a martial arts match, a bearded man scrubbing his back in the bath, and two gymnasts. The image in Hostomel has been valued at $250,000.