An investigative podcast is launching soon on the story behind one of the longest art heists in history – when self-titled “art terrorist” AK47 (Andy Link) stole The Drinker sculpture in 2004 and held it for ransom, leading to a 20-year ongoing legal battle.
The six-part series titled Who Robs A Banksy? is hosted by journalist and Message Heard founder Jake Warren and will feature first-hand accounts from the thief, as well as other accounts from the people that are “closest to Banksy himself”, all in an attempt to track down the real identity of Banksy.
“The fact that someone would kidnap a Banksy statue is pretty absurd already, but the story of why it happened, how the statue vanished again after it was kidnapped, and why it was mysteriously put up for auction over 10 years later is even wilder,” said Warren in the trailer. “It all comes down to one man and a two-decade long vendetta.”
Within the podcast, Warren also dives into the history of the UK’s subversive sub-cultures such as 80s football hooliganism, the illegal rave scene of the 90s, and fetish parties, as well as questions how Banksy can be called the ‘Robin Hood’ of art by the public when he’s making millions out of his art pieces.
Who Robs A Banksy? is created in partnership between multi-award-winning podcast company Message Heard, founded by Warren, and podcast platform and subscription service Podimo. The show will premiere on 27 April and will be available across all podcast platforms.
Warren also hosted Finding Natasha, a personal and narrative podcast from Message Heard in which he uncovered his mother’s past as a dancer in the early 70s who was chosen to train at Russia’s finest ballet academy, but ended up being at risk and had her life saved by a young girl named Natasha who she never saw or heard from again. Throughout the series, Warren attempts to find out who Natasha is and succeeds, eventually releasing a bonus episode in which his mother and Natasha reunite with each other.
In February this year, Podimo announced that it was expanding its presence in the UK by partnering with a number of podcast production companies to launch over 20 podcasts including Message Heard. This included multi-year partnerships with podcast production company Listen for five weekly series, five new shows with ‘slow news’ publisher Tortoise Media, and five weekly series with production company What’s The Story Sounds as well as one-off partnerships with MagsCreative, TellTale industries and Vespucci.