Banksy stresses Steve Jobs' Syria link with migrant oeuvres

GMT 09:04 2015 Sunday ,13 December

Arab Today, arab today Banksy stresses Steve Jobs' Syria link with migrant oeuvres

2 men stand next to a street art graffiti by elusive British artist Banksy
Calais - AFP

Renowned street artist Banksy has created a trio of oeuvres to publicise the plight of migrants at the infamous "Jungle" camp in Calais, northern France, including one depicting Steve Jobs.

One work painted at the camp itself shows Jobs, whose biological father was a Syrian immigrant to the United States, holding an early Apple computer terminal and a bin liner of personal possessions.

Some 4,500 people were cramming the camp, to which Banksy recently made a donation and where he painted his latest works near a clutch of tents housing them.

Few of the migrants, mostly from strife-torn Syria, knew who Banksy or Jobs were but the artist explained he had depicted the latter in his trademark black polo to underline the late computing king's connection with the country.

"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," said Banksy in a rare public statement.

"Apple is the world's most profitable company, it pays over $7bn (£4.6bn) a year in taxes - and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs," added Banksy, who painted two other works in downtown Calais, including his own take on French painter Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa".

Instead of the Argus vessel which picked up a handful of survivors of the Medusa after their frigate was shipwrecked in 1816, Banksy's version shows a car-ferry representing those which make daily cross the English Channel and which remain inaccessible to would-be migrants eying a new life in Britain.

On Banksy's website and underneath the Jobs picture is the caption, the son of a migrant from Syria.

Under the Gericault pastiche is the slogan, "we're not all in the same boat."

The third painting on a Calais beach, which Banksy also published Saturday on his website, shows a child with windswept hair, a suitcase at his feet,longingly peering at the distant British coast through a telescope on which a vulture is perched, looking at him.

On Saturday afternoon, the artwork was largely covered up with a plank of wood --  a temporary measure designed to "protest the artist's works" according to Calais city hall.

A Banksy work can often fetch hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) from ardent collectors.


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