The man accused of planning the heist of street artist Banksy’s mural in Ukraine could face up to 12 years in prison, according to the nation’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General said the man has been identified, although his name has not been publicly released, as reported by German outlet DW News.
The man has been handed a “notice of suspicion,” which is considered an early stage of the pretrial investigation in Ukraine.
He allegedly convinced several people that he had permits to dismantle the artwork. Multiple people were arrested shortly after they removed the mural in early December.
The mural was on a yellow house that had been shelled by Russian military forces in the town of Hostomel. It depicts a woman wearing a gas mask and a bathrobe while holding a fire extinguisher.
It is estimated to be worth nearly $244,000.
Following the arrest of the group of suspects last month, Kyiv’s head of police, Andrey Nebitov, said the artwork is protected by law enforcement.
“After all, these images are a symbol of our struggle against the enemy,” Mr. Nebitov said in a statement, according to CNN. “These are the stories about the support and solidarity of the entire civilized world with Ukraine. Let’s do everything to preserve the works of street art as a symbol of our future victory.”
Other murals that were created include two in the city of Borodianka — a female gymnast balancing on a pile of rubble and a young boy flipping a man while wearing martial arts clothing, which some have thought was a dig at Russian President Vladimir Putin and his love for martial arts.
DW reported that Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture will determine what to do next with the mural that was removed.