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Calais to protect Banksy street art ‘Steve Jobs the Son of Syrian Migrant’

Street artist Banksy’s three murals on migrant issues which appeared in the French port of Calais last week are to be protected. ‘Steve Jobs the Son of Syrian Migrant’ was painted at the 'Jungle' migrant camp.

Authorities in Calais are to protect and preserve the three murals of UK street artist Banksy which he painted in the town last week.

Shield glass or transparent plastic panels will be placed to protect the image Banksy painted of Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple, which appeared on a bridge pillar inside the 'Jungle' camp (photo).

"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 was an opportunity for Calais.

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

Banksy's publicist, Jo Brooks, confirmed Saturday that the work found at the encampment in Calais was genuine. The artist's own identity has never been confirmed.

He said in a rare statement to British media that Apple only exists because US 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," Banksy said in the statement.

Two more artworks for Calais

The second Banksy mural, painted by the Calais beach, shows a child looking towards England through a telescope with a vulture on it.

A third mural, next to Calais' immigration office, is a black and white version of “The Raft of the Medusa” by the French nineteenth century painter Theodore Gericault. Survivors on a raft are waving towards a yacht on the horizon. The Banksy website carries a photo of the mural captioned: "We're not all in the same boat."

In September, Banksy said on his website that materials from his 'bemusement' park in Weston-Super-Mare would be sent to the Jungle in Calais to build shelters.

All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the 'jungle' refugee camp. No tickets will be available." Dismaland attracted 150,000 visitors during its month-long stay in the seaside resort in the west of England.

One of Banksy's murals, Kissing Coppers, was removed from the wall of a Brighton pub and auctioned in Miami, Florida in 2014. It went under the hammer for $477,000 (433,000 euros).

jm/jlw (AFP, Reuters)

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