For three days, the court must examine the role that seven French people and an Italian are suspected of having played in the theft and concealment of this metal door decorated with a stencil representing a sad young girl, claimed by the street-artist worldwide known.
On January 26, 2019, shortly after 4:00 a.m., a white van with concealed plates stopped in the passage Saint-Pierre Amelot (11th arrondissement of Paris), through which many Bataclan spectators had fled the attack in which 90 d of them were killed on November 13, 2015.
Three masked men get out of the vehicle, cut the hinges with grinders powered by a generator. In less than 10 minutes, they embark the work, protected by a plexiglass window.
The people in charge of the performance hall are indignant: this “symbol of meditation and belonging to all, residents, Parisians, citizens of the world, has been taken away from us”.
This “meticulously prepared” flight, in the words of the investigating judge in charge of the case, will finally be elucidated via information from Isère, transmitted to the Parisian police in November 2019.
– Italian Farm –
Three men there are suspected of having robbed a DIY store, twelve days before the theft. Among the items stolen… grinders and generators.
Their phones also reveal that they were together in Paris on the night of the incident. The lines of the thirty-somethings and their relatives are tapped: in conversations, the theft is openly mentioned.
Little by little, the investigators retrace the route of the door: Isère, Var then Tortoreto, in Italian Abruzzo. It was on a farm in Sant’Omero, about fifteen kilometers away, that she was finally discovered on June 10, 2020.
Arrested, Kevin G., Franck G.A. and Danis G. confess the theft, but the last two claim only an executive role.
The person who received the door in the Var, Mehdi Meftah, is suspected of having “ordered” the theft. This 41-year-old man, who says he won 7.5 million euros in the lottery, created the luxury T-shirt brand “BL1.D”, whose signature is a real 18-carat gold ingot sewn on the neckline.
During his hearings, he denied having ordered the flight and claims to have been put “in front of a fait accompli”, before deciding “to remove the problem” to Italy.
“Look what I brought you back,” Kevin G said to him, according to his account. replica.
Kevin G. confirmed this version. He claims to have thought that his friend, a wealthy street-art lover, could resell it.
Other protagonists, however, spoke of an “order”.
– “Symbolic” –
The last four defendants, aged 31 to 58, are suspected of having transported the work.
“It’s a case that we wanted to do something much bigger than it really is”, argues Me Romain Ruiz, lawyer for Franck G. A.
“The symbolism is what it is and no one minimizes it,” said Me Margaux Durand-Poincloux, Danis G’s lawyer. is not the target’s decision maker, which makes the length of his pre-trial detention disproportionate”.
Danis G. was arrested in March 2021, almost a year after his co-defendants who, after several months in pre-trial detention, will appear free under judicial supervision.
The real identity of British artist Banksy, who has claimed works with a political message around the world, remains mysterious. His pieces sell at auction for millions of euros.
The price of the door has been estimated between 500,000 and one million euros – a debated amount. Its return to the owners of the Bataclan building is challenged in cassation by the manager of the performance hall, taken over by the City of Paris.