Art and anarchy have joined together aboard this vessel in the name of rescuing refugees.
British street artist Banksy is financing a pink-painted former French customs yacht, sailing beneath a German flag, to help save migrants stranded between north Africa and Europe, the Guardian reported.
So far, the 101-foot boat — named Louise Michel, after the French female anarchist — has saved 194 people in three rescue operations since surreptitiously setting sail from Spain on August 18. Those taken aboard in the first two rescue missions have since been transferred to the rescue boat Sea-Watch 4.
The Louise Michel, now in the central Mediterranean, is staffed by 10 crew members and operates independently of Banksy, who solely provides financial support and boat art: The ship’s side is haphazardly colored in pink and bears a variation of Banksy’s famous “Girl With Balloon” in which the child now wears a life jacket and holds a heart-shaped buoy.
The vessel is run by Pia Klemp, a former non-governmental organization (NGO) boat captain who has taken part in thousands of refugee rescues. Banksy contacted her about a rescue-boat collaboration in 2019, via an email which she initially thought was a joke, she told the Guardian.
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