Banksy London artwork highlights teargas use in Calais refugee camp

The internet was abuzz late Sunday afternoon with talk of a possible new London stencil artwork from British street artist Banksy

A series of various cropped images of the new Banksy street art began to surface on Instagram following the story of the new London Banksy piece breaking on the Guardian newspaper website shortly after 6pm Sunday 24th, 2016.

Further confirmation of the piece's authenticity soon followed with the new Banksy art in London appearing on the Instagram account of Banksy's publicist, Jo Brooks.

London Banksy Street Art  'Les Misérables'

The stenciled Banksy 'Les Misérables' work appeared overnight on Saturday and is located in West London directly opposite the French Embassy building in Knightsbridge. 

Spray painted onto the boarded-up windows of an empty corner shop unit, the new London street art sees Banksy criticizing the use of teargas in the 'Jungle' refugee camp in the vicinity of Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are currently living while they attempt to cross into the United Kingdom.

The artwork itself of a young girl, Cosette is based on an engraving by French illustrator Émile Bayard created for the first edition of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables in 1886. 

The iconic image which has become emblematic of the entire Les Misérables story has gone through a number of updates over the decades and has seen it being used in promotional artworks for various versions of the musical. Banksy's update of the Cosette image sees her with tears running down her face as the clouds of CS gas from the canister on the ground rise up and engulf her.

Banksy's London artwork highlights teargas use in Calais refugee camp

Banksy London QR Code

The work also features a first for Banksy and makes use of a QR code stenciled next to the work. When scanned with a QR reader on your smartphone it links to the seven-minute Youtube video shared below of a police raid that was filmed at the 'Jungle' refugee camp early in January and clearly shows teargas being used by the French authorities.

Banksy's Les Miserables (London Street Art) photographed at night. Close up detail.
Banksy London Street Art QR code

The interactive component of Banksy's artwork includes a stenciled QR code which when scanned on your phone with a QR reader directs you to the Youtube video posted below.

Banksy London Street Art Teargas canister

The open CS teargas canister on the ground.

Banksy's Les Miserables (London Street Art) photographed during the day

Daytime shot of the London Banksy street art stencil work with some damage to the corners of the work where attempts have been made to remove the work by those hoping to profit from the artist's street pieces.

Related Street Art Stories

Banksy's London artwork highlights teargas use in Calais refugee camp
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Fresh London Banksy works appear at the Barbican Centre

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