Banksy mural of Les Mis girl in tears takes on...
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Jan 25, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

Banksy mural of Les Mis girl in tears takes on France's treatment of refugees

Plumes of tear gas rise up from a canister beneath her, and a ripped French flag appears behind, in the British graffiti artist’s critique of events at “The Jungle” camp in Calais


British graffiti artist Banksy is tackling the refugee crisis once again, with a new mural criticizing the use of tear gas against migrants in “The Jungle” camp in Calais, France.

In the new piece, Banksy depicts the young girl from the play Les Misérables with tears in her eyes as plumes of tear gas rise up from a canister beneath her. A ripped French flag is also painted behind her.

The image appeared opposite the French embassy in Knightsbridge, London, overnight on Saturday, The Guardian reported.

It is the first time Banksy has made an interactive mural.

When passersby hold their phones over a QR code beneath the image, they are directed to a Youtube video of a nighttime raid on the Calais camp on Jan. 5.

The video, posted by activist group Calais Migrant Solidarity, appears to show tear gas being fired into the camp. Since 2009, anywhere from 100 to 4,000 migrants have lived in the camp in Calais, France, just across the English Channel, according to the group.

Workers boarded up the mural, but the boards were removed shortly thereafter, BBC reported. The mural has also been damaged after attempts have been made to take it down.

This isn’t the first time Banksy has tackled the refugee crisis.

In December, the artist depicted late Apple founder Steve Jobs in a mural at the Calais camp itself. The image shows Jobs carrying a black garbage bag over his shoulder and an early Apple computer.

“We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant,” Banksy wrote in a statement accompanying the piece. “Apple is the world’s most profitable company, it pays over $7 billion a year in taxes — and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”

Boats filled with the drowned bodies of refugees were also featured at Banksy’s now-closed “Dismaland” park.

The workers behind the “bemusement park” have since re-used materials to build a dozen dwellings, a community area and a children’s park in Calais.

Toronto Star

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