Just days after Banksy’s new artwork (his first ever interactive piece) appeared opposite the French Embassy, it has been boarded up.
His mural, painted on a temporary wooden structure, depicts the young girl from Les Miserables with tears streaming from her eyes as a cloud of CS gas (tear gas) creeps its way towards her. (if you’ve not already seen it, check it out here)
The piece is in response to the reported use of tear gas, plastic bullets and concussion grenades on the refugee’s living in the “Jungle” camp (a former dump site) by French police; the piece has a QR code which links you to a seven minute youtube video of French police raiding the camp.
However reports that art thieves had been trying to steal the piece soon emerged and the police were called, scaring the would-be thieves off. Building developers Cheval Property Management Limited decided to board up the art work after a failed attempt by their builders to try and prize off the piece of wood on which the mural is painted. Cheval Property Management have announced they are “discussing future plans for the artwork” – one hopes those plans include the refugees Banksy is trying to help.
However, Google’s Cultural Institute Project got wind that the art work was being boarded up and being moved so decided to archive it on StreetView and will be on the Cultural Institute’s Banksy site before it was removed.
The piece comes just over a month aft Banksy left a mural of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs painted on one of the tunnel walls in the “Jungle” camp in Calais (read about that here), along with some further artworks in the town – all highlighting the plight of, and the unjust treatment of the thousands of refugees living in the camp.
His latest piece has caused as much media attention as the last, and though Banksy’s Steve Jobs mural in Calais is now covered in someone else’s graffiti, it seems this one will be preserved for years to come.