Street Artist Banksy has confirmed that he painted Paris with up to a dozen murals as a tribute to the May 1968 uprising, the November 2015 terrorist attack and even the French government’s hard line on migrants.
Stenciled images in the usual style of the provocative British graffiti artist, began appearing on walls across the French capital last week.
All the works were and remain unsigned, which spread curiosity among the people. But the Bristol-based artist finally took to Instagram to share his artworks across Paris. The posts gathered more than half a million likes within few hours.
“Fifty years since the uprising in Paris 1968. The birthplace of modern stencil art,” he wrote with a post showing a masked rat carrying a utility knife that is used to cut out stencils.
The mural with a horse is a take on the famous painting of Napoleon as he crosses the Alps to invade Italy in 1800. Except what’s different, in Banksy's version is that the figure on the horse is wearing a full red headscarf.
Banksy posted a photo of this image on Instagram with a caption that reads, "LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÉ, CABLE TV," (Liberty, Equality, Cable TV)
The mural which sits on a side street near the Bataclan concert hall -- the site of a November 2015 terrorist attack that left 90 dead -- is painted in black and white and shows a sad-looking figure, gazing downward.
In another mural, a rat couple painted near the corner of a building stare longingly at the Eiffel Tower.
The other mural believed to be a take on capitalism, shows a businessman or a politician in a suit offering a dog a bone having first sawn the animal’s leg off.
The mural near a former center for migrants, depicts a young child of colour, spray-painting wallpaper over a swastika. Near her is a teddy-bear and torn mattresses.The artwork has since been vandalized with bright blue paint.
This is not the first time Banksy has used art to make a statement on migration. He highlighted the Syrian refugee crisis previously in 2015 with a portrait of Steve Jobs in a migrant camp in Calais, France. The caption for the mural, written online was "The son of a migrant from Syria."