New Banksy Les Miserables mural hits at use of teargas in Calais Jungle camp

Published: Monday 25th January 2016 by The News Editor

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A new artwork by Banksy criticising the use of teargas in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais has appeared on a wall opposite the French Embassy in London.

The mural depicts the young girl from the musical Les Miserables with tears streaming from her eyes as a can of CS gas lies beneath her.

The artwork includes an interactive QR code which, when scanned, links to a video of teargas and rubber bullets used in a police raid on January 5.

It is the latest in a number of artworks painted by the elusive graffiti artist criticising Europe’s handling of the refugees crisis.

It appears that someone may have tried to tear the mural from the wall where it has been painted in Knightsbridge as the corners of the wood are ripped.

Fans of the artist have been visiting the mural and taking photos of it.

Among them was Julie Moore, 29, a consultant living in London, who rushed to see the artwork before catching a flight to Scotland.

She said: “I went on Facebook this morning and saw a mention of this and so decided to rush here before going to the airport.

“The work is incredible. I think the most powerful thing for me is I’m a lover of musicals and to use such such a powerful image of France is just beautiful.

“This is on my morning running route and just a few weeks ago there there was a collection of flowers outside the embassy. It has so much meaning to have it here.

“It is an important message he is getting across.”

The mural has been sprayed on to the corner of a large complex in Knightsbridge which is being turned into luxury flats and shops.

Ged Glaude, 43, one of the builders at the site, said: “I’ve just arrived at work and saw the press here.

“It is not very often you come to work and see a Banksy.”

Nick Papavassiliou, 42, a charity worker living in London, said: “Every time Banksy puts up a picture it is quickly sold by some owner for a ‘charity’, so as soon as I saw it last night I thought I’d better come down here quickly before it gets removed.

“It is possible it will raise awareness of conditions in the camp – I hope so.

“I suppose artworks like this are there to send a message.”

Asked about his views on the refugee crisis, he said: “Personally, I think we should do a little bit more than what we are doing – we are all humans after all.

“These people are in trouble and there are children involved, more should be done just on a humanitarian basis.”

Builders working at the site at one point discussed removing the mural, but now the plan appears to be to cover it up with another piece of wood.

Published: Monday 25th January 2016 by The News Editor

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