We reported in November last year that Banksy had created seven new street-artworks as stencil-murals in the war-ravaged towns of Ukraine. In December 2022 an attempt was made to steal one of the murals on display in Kyiv. In response the Kyiv regional military administration and local administration teamed up with Ajax Systems, a Ukrainian security company, to protect the works from harm, theft, weather conditions, and preserve them as the meaningful symbols they have become for the people of Ukraine.
The security includes motion detectors, climate control, and sensors attune to shocks and vibrations. In the event of potential damage a siren will sound and a rapid response team is poised to arrive.
Interestingly, Ajax suggested in a statement that while the works were being cared for in place there was a plan for them to ‘be protected until delivered to the museum. Banksy’s works have cultural and historical value for the country as a reminder that light will win over darkness’ they alluded. In a YouTube video the company shows the installation and notes, ‘we will save symbols of resilience and pass them to the brave new generation.’
In further evidence that Ukraine celebrates and plans to enshrine Banksy’s work in their cultural history, the state owned JSC Ukrainian Postal Service or Ukrposhta (Ukrainian: Укрпошта) has issued post-stamps depicting one of Banksy’s murals that appears in the town of Borodianka. This stamp was issued on February 24th, the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.
Both the new security systems and post-stamps show the country’s desire to preserve culture in a time of war. As Valentine Hrytsenko, chief marketing officer at Ajax Systems, told The Art Newspaper ‘For Ukrainians, Banksy’s murals are a symbol of invincibility … an essential message which we want to capture for our future generations.’