CORONAVIRUS

Audacious Thief Tries To Steal Banksy's Tribute To Health Care Workers From Hospital

The street artist gifted his "Game Changer" piece to Britain's National Health Service to thank those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Banksy’s latest artwork honoring health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic was the subject of an audacious theft attempt less than 48 hours after it was unveiled.

An unidentified person tried to steal the British street artist’s “Game Changer” piece from Southampton General Hospital in the early hours of May 8, the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust told HuffPost on Wednesday. 

Banksy “gifted” the piece to the National Health Service and it is “temporarily on display in the hospital,” the trust said.

Security guards spotted the person, dressed in a protective suit and carrying a cordless drill, repeatedly walking past and hovering around the painting, reported The Sun newspaper.

The suspicious person was “removed” from the hospital, a source said.

“No harm occurred to either persons, the painting, or hospital property,” the trust said. 

The value of the painting, which is set to be sold at auction in the fall to support health care charities, is unknown. However, some of Banksy’s paintings have in recent years sold for millions of dollars at auction. 

The elusive artist’s publicist did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

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