- Title: Artist brings horror of migrant boat sinkings to central Paris
- Date: 11th January 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (French) ARTIST, PIERRE DELAVIE, SAYING: "What does this work say? It says 'It's happening in the Mediterranean', but now it's happening here, just next door. I even added some of us to the work, some pictures of Parisians, to say that they (the migrants) are us."
- Embargoed: 25th January 2017 14:58
- Keywords: migrants Paris immigration Pierre Delavie boat Anne Hidalgo
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA0025YN0093
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A famous French artist brought the European refugee crisis to the heart of Paris on Wednesday (January 11) hanging a giant poster depicting the sinking of a vessel fully loaded with migrants from the embankment of the River Seine.
Based on a real photograph taken in the Mediterranean by Italian coastguards, Pierre Delavie's work shows migrants tumbling overboard as the boat capsizes, with an optical illusion suggesting the sinking is happening on the Seine itself.
"What does this work say? It says 'It's happening in the Mediterranean', but now it's happening here, just next door. I even added some of us to the work, some pictures of Parisians, to say that they (the migrants) are us," Delavie told Reuters TV.
Delavie worked with the NGO the 'Office for the Welcome of and Assistance for Migrants" (BAAM) to install the poster.
BAAM lobbies European governments to allow migrants freer access to the continent, opposing systems including the EU-Turkey deal which sees boatloads of migrants intercepted and returned.
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has opened a high-profile welcome centre for refugees in the north of the capital, with a second set to open next week.
But BAAM President Heloise Mary accused the mayor of hypocrisy.
"The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has done one hell of a publicity campaign promoting Paris as a city of sanctuary. But Paris is far from being a city of sanctuary. In Paris, there are minors, women and very young children who sleep on the pavements. There are men who are clubbed and gassed just outside Hidalgo's migrant centre, the 'La Chapelle' centre," she said.
According to figures published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 7,495 refugee and migrant deaths were recorded worldwide last year - almost a third higher than in 2015 - with the vast majority perishing in the Mediterranean.
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