Banksy helped to buy a refugee rescue ship

Banksy graffiti aboard the Louise Michelle

British street artist Banksy helped buy a rescue ship for refugees heading to Europe from Africa. The vessel was launched in the Spanish port of Burriana on August 18. This was done in secret so as not to attract the attention of the authorities. The first to tell about the ship was the Guardian newspaper, according to which, last Wednesday, the crew rescued 89 people in distress in the Mediterranean.

The ship bears the name of Louise Michel, a 19th-century French feminist, and anarchist who played a prominent role in the Paris Commune. On one side of the pink and white vessel is a work by Banksy depicting a girl in a life jacket, whose figure refers to his famous Girl with a Balloon. The Louise Michel sails under the German flag and is crewed by activists with experience in the rescue operations of Sea-Watch, a non-profit organization rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean.

It is reported that in September last year, the artist himself approached an activist named Pia Klemp, who was previously the captain of several rescue ships and offered help. Louise Michel ‘is a smaller but faster vessel that Sea-Watch uses for the same purpose. It is reported that she is now looking for a safe port where the rescued will either be allowed to disembark or be transferred to a European Coast Guard ship.

In June, Banksy’s three paintings on the migration crisis in Europe were sold for £ 2.2 million at a Sotheby’s charity auction, and the proceeds were donated to a hospital in Bethlehem.

The artist from Bristol, hiding his real name, has long been creating works devoted to the problem of refugees. Last year, he made his mark at the Venice Biennale by stenciling a migrant child in a life jacket with a glowing neon pink flare in hand. Other works on the subject include a picture of Apple founder Steve Jobs with a computer in hand and a black trash bag slung over his shoulder, which the artist spray-painted on the wall in 2015 in a refugee camp in Calais, which received the unofficial nickname Jungle.


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