Mr Meftah told the court he had no idea the theft of the mural – estimated at €1million – until two of the thieves showed up on his doorstep with the artwork . He said to them, “What do you want me to do with it?
Not wanting to denounce his “friend”, he said he agreed to hold the door until they found a way to get rid of it.
“Forty-eight hours later I realized my stupid mistake,” he said. “I took it, put it in my truck and got rid of it to fix the problem,” he said. Her cousin and a friend ended up driving her to a hotel in Tortoreto, Abruzzo, Italy.
Thieves ‘acted like vultures’
On Thursday, Mr Meftah was sentenced to a three-year prison term for receiving stolen property, after judges concluded the mastermind’s main allegation was unproven. His sentence will be served wearing electronic tracking bracelets, rather than behind bars.
Three men in their thirties who admitted to the theft were sentenced to prison terms, one of four years and two of three years. They too will serve their sentence with an electronic bracelet.
Three men involved in transporting the door were each jailed for 10 months, while a 58-year-old Italian, owner of a hotel where it was temporarily stored, received a six-month suspended prison sentence.
Valérie Cadignan, the prosecutor, told the court earlier this month that the suspects had not actively sought to debase the memory of the victims of the attack, but “being aware of the inestimable value of the door sought to do profit”.
However, she added that the thieves “behaved like vultures, like people who steal objects without any respect for what they might represent”.
During the trial, Bataclan staff said the theft aroused “deep indignation”, adding that the painted door was a “symbol of remembrance that belongs to all, inhabitants, Parisians, citizens of the world”.
Pleading of the trial of the Paris attacks
Banksy’s verdicts were delivered as Paris lawyers made their closing arguments in the Paris attacks trial.
In the dock is Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the Islamist massacre.
Also on trial are 19 other people accused of having helped the killers to varying degrees. The verdict is expected on June 29.