Street artist Banksy splashes Paris with works on migrants

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The provocative street artist Banksy is believed to have taken his message on migration to Paris. Seven works attributed to the graffiti artist have been discovered in recent days. | AP Photo

PARIS — Banksy is believed to have taken his message on migration to Paris, which has seen seven works attributed to the provocative British street artist.

The works attributed to Banksy have been discovered in recent days, including one near a former center for migrants at the city’s northern edge that depicts a child spray-painting wallpaper over a swastika.

Nicolas Laugero Lasserre, editor of the Artistikrezo website that broke the story, said he heard a few weeks ago through contacts in the French street art world that Banksy was planning a trip.

He said he started looking for the works and came across the one in the northern Porte de la Chappelle neighborhood. The same wallpaper stencil was used in a 2009 exposition at the Bristol Museum, he said, describing it as “a real signature” of the elusive artist.

It didn’t take long for others to add — or detract — from Banksy’s work. First came the blue tag over the wallpaper. Then on Monday, another artist temporarily covered over Banksy’s work with a poster depicting a woman’s face, but the paper was quickly pulled off and an art restorer frantically tried to cover the works with a clear plastic.

Not all the works directly reference migration. One is a play on the 1801 painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps. Others show rats, including one that appeared to have been altered over the weekend.

“It lands at a key political moment, and for me that’s really the genius of Banksy,” Laugero Lasserre said.

Banksy’s publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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