The system, which includes shockproof glass and alarms, was installed to prevent people from stealing the art after an unsuccessful attempt was made on one of his pieces in Kyiv, the country’s capital, last December. Other features of the security system include motion detectors, vibration sensors and polycarbonate barriers, protective screens that are 200 times stronger than glass.
The system has not only been installed to stop theft, but also to protect the murals themselves. Some of the pieces are encased in protective structures which maintain a sufficient air quality and climate to keep them safe.
Banksy confirmed last year that he had created seven murals around Ukraine, four of which are in Kyiv. The rest are in areas that have been particularly targeted by Russian forces.
The works include a child overthrowing a figure resembling Russian president Vladimir Putin, a woman in her dressing gown wearing a gas mask, and two children playing on scraps of metal from a tank. These are the first public murals from the Bristol-based artist in more than a year.
Oleh Torkunov, the deputy head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, an organisation that helped with the installation of the security system, said: ‘Banksy’s works have cultural and historical value for the country as a reminder that light will win over darkness. It is important to resist possible vandalism attempts that have already happened.’
The chief marketing officer at Ajax Systems, Valentine Hrytsenko, added: ‘For Ukrainians, Banksy’s murals are a symbol of invincibility [with] an essential message which we want to capture for our future generations.’
He continued, ‘[the murals] are a major symbol of resistance, important for the whole world.’
24 February marked the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and it’s to this that Banksy responds with a political message so characteristic of his work: we should stand in solidarity with Ukraine.