Artist Banksy sponsors the Sea-Watch rescue ship – 89 migrants are rescued

He chooses motives on socially critical issues, including rescue at sea. British artist Banksy has also contributed financially to Sea Watch – and his ship has now saved the lives of 89 migrants.

Mysterious street artist Banksy supports a ship to rescue refugees in the Mediterranean, according to aid organization Sea-Watch. The German organization tweeted on Thursday: “A ship sponsored and painted by #Banksy, an experienced search and rescue team from across Europe – MV Louise Michel has already secured two Sea Watch 4 missions and has now rescued 89 people herself. happy. about the pink reinforcement! “

In addition, the organization published a photo showing the pink – apparently Banksy – painted ship sailing under the German flag.

Email to the German “Sea-Watch” captain

A photo published by the Guardian on Thursday shows a work of art on the ship featuring a girl wearing a life jacket and a heart-shaped lifebuoy.

According to the newspaper, Banksy’s involvement in the rescue operation can be traced back to an email he sent to German Sea-Watch captain Pia Klemp in September 2019. It said he – Banksy – had read Klemp’s story in the newspaper. “You sound like a tough guy. I’m an artist from the UK and did some work on the refugee crisis, of course I can’t keep the money. Can you use it to get a new ship or something else? please know Well done Banksy.

“Part of an anti-fascist struggle”

Klemp, who initially thought the email was a joke, according to the Guardian, now believes Banksy chose her because of her political views. “I don’t see the sea rescue as a humanitarian act, but as part of an anti-fascist struggle,” she told The Guardian. She made it clear that Banksy’s involvement in the operations was limited to providing financial support. “Banksy isn’t going to pretend he knows how to run a ship better than we do, and we’re not going to pretend we’re artists.”

The newspaper wrote that the ship departed Valencia on August 18 and is now in the Mediterranean, where it rescued 89 people in need on Thursday, including 14 women and four children. A safe harbor is now being sought to get passengers off board.

Banksy’s identity is a mystery

According to the newspaper, the 31-meter motor yacht was previously owned by the French customs. It is smaller, but much faster than other NGO rescue ships. The “Louise Michel” could “hopefully catch up with the so-called Libyan coastguard” before these boats carrying refugees and migrants reach them and return them to the internment camps in Libya, Klemp said.

Banksy’s identity remains a mystery. He is known to have come from Bristol in the south west of England and came to London in the late 1990s. He made a name for himself with socially critical and often controversial motives, which often come as a surprise. He also spoke, for example, about homelessness, consumer behavior and the corona crisis.

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