A mural painted by notorious graffiti artist Banksy has been stolen from the Bataclan theatre.
The artwork, which depicted a sad-faced girl, was taken last night, police confirmed.
Banksy painted the art on the emergency door of the Parisian concert venue, where 89 people were killed by Islamist extremists in November 2015.
A recent artwork by street artist Banksy on a side street to the Bataclan concert hall where a terrorist attack killed 90 people
An investigation is underway to track down the artwork, which could be sold for millions.
The artwork was first seen last June on a door in the passage of Saint-Pierre Amelot and is believed to pay homage to those who lost their lives during the Eagles of Death Metal concert.
A police source is quoted as saying: ‘In the night from Friday to Saturday, hooded villains came to steal the work before taking it to a truck.’
An alarm was triggered inside the theatre at around 4.25am and police found a screwdriver close to where the painting was snatched.
One witness reported seeing a white pick-up truck and three suspicious people nearby.
The mayor of Paris’ 11th district François Vauglin told French media site LCI: ‘This silhouette was made by the artist for free, it was an altruistic gesture to pay tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack and their loved ones, and I find it very sad that people have grabbed it without thinking about it all represents.’
An investigation is underway to track down the artwork, which could be sold for millions
Is this Banksy? Elusive artist may have been caught on camera filming his own £1m artwork being shredded just moments after ‘triggering a remote device’
Could this be the moment elusive street artist Banksy photographed his own publicity stunt?
Shocked bidders and Sotherby’s staff watched in horror as that the painting, which sold for £1,042,000 one second was torn to shreds the next.
Experts now say that October’s stunt may have actually doubled the value of The Girl With Balloon because of the huge interest it generated.
A picture posted onto Banksy’s Instagram account showed the moment the piece was destroyed by the booby-trapped picture frame.
And separate video posted on Twitter shows the stunned reaction of the packed auction house in London last night.
As the camera pans around, a curly-haired man in glasses taking a picture from the same position as the Instagram image can be seen.
He appears to have taken the picture posted online by the mysterious ‘graffiti guerrilla’ could have been the the man himself documenting his prank in action.
Banksy posted on Instagram a picture of the moment the painting was shredded
Robin Gunningham was named as street artist Banksy, which he claimed was untrue
He is seen holding his phone and zooming into the painting to get a good shot of the damage.
The man is wearing thick glasses, a suit, and has curly hair and if it is the man himself could have just pressed the button to remotely trigger the shredder.
A video released by Banksy shows the auction room from several different angles, adding ton speculation he may be a team of people who were all in the room at the time of the sale.
A stunned member of auction staff can be seen on the phone to the winning bidder as the painting is destroyed in front of his eyes.
Banksy posted the clip on his Instagram but then deleted it. In it, he reveals video of himself building the shredder.
He explains: ‘A few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting in case it was ever put up for auction…’
Over the years speculation about the identity of the artist has been rife and many different identities have claimed to ‘unmask’ the real Banksy.
In 2008 Robin Gunningham was said to have been revealed as Banksy when a Mail on Sunday investigation published a pictures supposedly at work, but his representatives denied it was him.
The packed auction house gasped as the Bansky work destroyed itself moments after being sold
Banksy’s artwork, Girl With Balloon which shredded itself after being sold for more than £1 million at auction
He was said to have been filmed spraying graffiti in Melbourne, Australia and Jamaica.
Eight years later, scientists said investigation identifying Mr Gunningham as ‘the only serious suspect’ was correct, when researchers at Queen Mary University of London used ‘geographic profiling’ to tie him to his work on a pub, playing fields and a house.
Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack was touted as the anonymous artist last year when fellow Bristol-based DJ Goldie and friend appeared to name him a personal friend, in an interview.
Investigators claimed to have matched up Massive Attack’s touring schedule with appearances by art by Banksy.