France to protect Banksy mural of Steve Jobs in Calais migrant camp

Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:44pm EST
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By Pierre Savary

LILLE, France (Reuters) - British graffiti artist Banksy's mural of late Apple founder Steve Jobs as a refugee on a wall in the Calais migrant camp and two other Banksy works in other parts of the city will be protected, local authorities said on Saturday.

The Banksy mural depicts a life-size Jobs carrying a shoulder bag and an early-model Apple computer on a wall at the entrance of the Calais camp, surrounded by immigrants' tents. The mural pictures are posted on Banksy's website.

Authorities in Calais, northern France, said they plan to shield the murals with glass or transparent plastic panels.

"We found out about the presence of this artwork on Friday and have decided to protect it, so it is not damaged," a Calais city spokeswoman said.

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart told local newspaper Nord Littoral that the artwork is an opportunity for Calais.

"It is very good, and it has a message," she said.

Banksy, whose identity has never been confirmed, said in a rare statement to British media that Apple only exists because U.S. authorities allowed in a young man from Homs, Syria.

"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, who is famous for painting ironic murals in unexpected places.   Continued...