Banksy Artwork In Knightsbridge, London Depicts Iconic Les Miserables Image As Refugee Tear Gas Victim

A new Banksy artwork criticising the use of teargas in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais appeared in London at the weekend, only for workmen to try and cover it up.

The mural, which appeared on Sunday morning, depicts the famous image of Cosette from Les Miserables with tears streaming from her eyes as a can of CS gas lies beneath her. It was placed on wooden hoarding opposite the French Embassy in Knightsbridge.

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.

Banksy's latest mural

Workmen covered up the mural with another piece of wood on Monday only to then remove it, exposing the mural again.

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

it is not the first time the political artist has produced work about the refugee crisis.

His image of Steve Jobs - whose father was Syrian - as a migrant trying to enter Europe is in the Jungle camp.

His Dismaland theme park was dismantled and from Somerset shipped to the camp, where its materials have been used in 12 dwellings, a community area and a play park.

Banksy's Steve Jobs mural at the camp (above) and Dismaland as it was in Somerset (below), before it was dismantled and shipped to the camp

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

Julie Moore, 29, a consultant living in London, 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.

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