France Vows to Protect Banksy's Steve Jobs Migrant Mural

Artist put it up at refugee camp in Calais
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2015 7:59 AM CST

(Newser) – Banksy's latest high-profile mural makes a point about the plight of Syrian refugees though the example of Steve Jobs—and authorities in France are making sure the mural sticks around for a while. The artist painted a life-size mural of Jobs, whose biological father was a Syrian native, at a migrant camp in Calais, reports the Guardian. It depicts Jobs as a migrant himself, carrying an early model Apple computer, along with a bag of belongings slung over his shoulder. "We found out about the presence of this artwork on Friday and have decided to protect it, so it is not damaged," says a spokeswoman for the city of Calais. Authorities will shield it with glass or plastic panels, reports Reuters.

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Banksy generally doesn't comment on his work, but he made an exception in this case: "We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant," says the artist's statement. "Apple is the world’s most profitable company ... and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.” Fair enough, but Issie Lapowsky at Wired thinks Banksy is missing a crucial point. Sure, there may be some Jobs-like people among the refugees, but millions of others affected won't go on to change the world. They need help, too, and "they're no less deserving of it." Banksy also announced that wood and other material from his bleak Dismaland exhibit will be used to build shelters for refugees in Calais. (Read more Banksy stories.)

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