US$34,000 Banksy Print ‘Trolley Hunters’ Stolen from Toronto Art Exhibition

A Banksy print ‘Trolley Hunters’ worth C$45,000 (US$34,000) was stolen from an unauthorized exhibit of the artist's work in Toronto. The Canadian police are now investigating the theft.

Curated by the artist's former manager, Steve Lazarides, The Art of Banksy features over 80 works on loan from collectors, including sculptures, screen prints, canvases and multimedia pieces, with a total worth of over C$35m in art. It is billed as the ‘largest Banksy exhibit ever assembled’. Yet, the show is reportedly not endorsed by the artist himself.

The show opened on Wednesday in a Toronto industrial building at 213 Sterling Road. It runs until July 11. Unfortunately, one of the Banksy’s prints, ‘Trolley Hunters’, will not be seen by visitors during this period as it had been stolen before the show even started.  

Banksy's 'Trolley Hunters' was stolen from an art exhibit in Toronto

‘Trolley Hunters’ depicts three crouching hunters aiming at a group of shopping carts, which can be interpreted as the artist’s critique on corporate food production. Its value is estimated at C$45,000 (US$34,000).

Screenshot from the surveillance video

Screenshot from the surveillance video

On June 10, Canadian police received a radio call over an alleged break-in at the exhibit site. They released a surveillance video recording a man entering through an interior door of the premises to gain entry at approximately 5:04 a.m. He wore a green camouflage baseball hat and covered his face with a black jacket. He quickly picked up the print and sneaked out of the room.

Screenshot from the surveillance video

Screenshot from the surveillance video

Some think that the theft could be a publicity stunt or insurance fraud because it looked all staged. The show's publicist, Danielle Iversen, denied any suggestion that the surveillance video was fake or a publicity stunt. She said the thief may have taken only one Banksy piece out of fear of discovery.

The Art of Banksy

Banksy is an anonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director of unverified identity. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stencilling technique. Banksy's works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.

Flower Thrower is one of Banksy's iconic works