Is Banksy Behind This Mediterranean Migrant-rescue Vessel?

Is Banksy Behind This Mediterranean Migrant-rescue Vessel?

The British street artist Banksy has come up with the financing necessary to purchase a migrant-rescue vessel that is sailing the Mediterranean.

The vessel, named Louise Michel after a French feminist anarchist, is helping rescue refugees attempting to reach Europe from north Africa, The Guardian reported.

The ship departed Burriana in Spain on Aug. 18 and is now in the central Mediterranean.

On Thursday it rescued 89 people from the water, including 14 women and four children, and is now attempting to take them to a port or transfer them to a European coastguard vessel.

“Hello Pia, I’ve read about your story in the papers. You sound like a badass. I am an artist from the UK and I’ve made some work about the migrant crisis, obviously I can’t keep the money. Could you use it to buy a new boat or something?” Banksy

The crew includes European activists with experience in search and rescue operations.

The ship is painted bright pink and feature s Banksy artwork depicting a girl in a life vest holding a heart-shaped safety buoy.

Banksy offered to help fund the boat when he sent an email last year to Pia Klemp, the former captain of several NGO rescue boats.

“Hello Pia, I’ve read about your story in the papers. You sound like a badass,” he wrote. “I am an artist from the UK and I’ve made some work about the migrant crisis, obviously I can’t keep the money. Could you use it to buy a new boat or something? Please let me know. Well done. Banksy.”

Klemp told The Guardian that Banksy’s involvement in the operations is limited to providing financial support. “Banksy won’t pretend that he knows better than us how to run a ship, and we won’t pretend to be artists,” she said.

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