London

Banksy's Calais 'Jungle' teargas mural boarded up by building firm

  • 25 January 2016
  • From the section London
Media captionThe BBC's Anjana Gadgil gets reaction on the artist's latest creation

A new Banksy artwork criticising the apparent use of teargas on people in the Calais "Jungle" camp which was opposite the French Embassy has been covered up.

The mural in Knightsbridge, based on a poster for musical Les Miserables, showed a girl with tears in her eyes as a can of CS gas lies beneath her.

French authorities have been using bulldozers to clear the camp.

Building developers said they covered the piece in order to preserve it.

Media captionThe latest artwork by Banksy appeared opposite the French Embassy

Mike Sadler, director of Cheval Property Management Limited, said the firm was "discussing future plans for the artwork".

Banksy has created several works inspired by the crisis involving migrants and refugees.

The picture of the girl, sprayed on the corner of a large complex, includes an interactive QR code.

When scanned with a mobile phone, it links to a video that appears to show teargas and rubber bullets being used during a raid at the camp on 5 January.

Fans had been visiting the area to look at the elusive street artist's latest creation, which appeared on Saturday night.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Workmen tried to remove the mural before it was boarded up
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Developers working on the building where the mural had appeared said they were trying to preserve it
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Banksy is now hidden behind two large sheets of plywood

Julie Moore, a consultant living in London, called the piece "beautiful" and "an important message".

Charity worker Nick Papavassiliou, said he hoped "it will raise awareness of conditions in the camp".

Attempts were made to remove the piece causing damage to the sides of the artwork.

Police said they had been called to the area on Sunday night after a report that a gang of men were trying to steal the mural.

However, they fled before police arrived, a Met spokesman said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Graffiti has been added to Banksy's depiction of Steve Jobs in 'The Jungle'
Image copyright AFP
Image caption In December, Banksy created a mural on a beach in Calais

A mural showing the late Apple-founder Steve Jobs as a migrant was painted on a wall in the makeshift Calais camp in December.

Parts of the artist's Dismaland theme park, which was temporarily based in Weston-super-Mare last summer, were sent to the camp to be used as shelters.

The French government has promised to keep law and order during efforts to relocate the controversial "Jungle" settlement.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 25 people were arrested on Saturday after migrants attempted to board a UK-bound ferry.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Some Banksy fans managed to snap pictures of his latest creation before it was covered up

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