A Mural for Refugees: A Tribute From Top of The Eiffel Tower

A Mural for Refugees: A Tribute From Top of The Eiffel Tower

A huge artwork which hopes to highlight the plight of refugees has been unveiled on the lawn under the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The 1,970ft graffiti Beyond Walls, by artist Saype, real name Guillaume Legros, shows a line of clasped hands and is painted on the grass of the Champ de Mars.

The stunning biodegradable work is best viewed from the top of the Eiffel Tower and serves as a tribute to the charity SOS Méditerranée.

The humanitarian organisation works to rescue migrants at risk of drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.

An average of six refugees died every day last year trying to cross the sea, according to the UN.

The artwork is designed to dissolve into the soil and people will walk over it at the popular tourist hotspot.

It was inaugurated yesterday by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and it marks the start of a three-year project in which Saype will display similar pieces in cities around the world including London, Berlin and Nairobi.

The 30-year-old is the first artist who has ever been allowed to work on the hallowed turf beneath the Eiffel Tower, according to The Guardian.

He said the image is a ‘symbol of togetherness at a time when people are more and more turning in on themselves’.

His grandparents were French Resistance fighters under the Vichy Regime, inspiring him to create work which challenges barriers and conflict.

He said: ‘Right now, it seems like we’ve all got short memories, that we’re living in a kind of negative, prewar atmosphere with economic crisis and people putting up barriers.’

The origin of the hands in the painting is unknown and the image is deliberately ambiguous, representing a rescue or friendship.

The project took more than 1,300 litres of paint and many weeks to create, and will disappear within days.

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