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Drowned Toddler Aylan Highlights Refugees' Plight through a Frankfurt Graffiti Artwork - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Graffiti artwork of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, by Frankfurt artists Justus Becker and Oguz Sen is seen on a wall on the banks of river Main near the headquarters of the European Central Bank.

Aylan Kurdi, whose dead body touched the globe and stirred world-wide sympathy for migrants fleeing the injustice of war and poverty, now again confronts motorists, pedestrians and river travellers on Frankfurt through a huge graffiti artwork image of the toddler.

Thousands of commuters who use the Main river footpath and road bridge every-day, along with Staff at the European Central Bank’s headquarters across the river can also see the image are likely or will actually see the 120-square-metre image of the three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in September along with his mother and brother as they tried to reach Europe. The artwork on a peninsula about a 15-minute walk from the city centre will stay until the autumn.

Graffiti artist Justus Becker, 38, known as COR, who worked on the image along with another artist who goes under the name Bobby Borderline expressed their sympathy and sadness behind this artwork stating that “We want to work with issues facing our society.”

On the other side, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor is struggling to influence and convince other European countries to accept a plan for handling the unprecedented flow of migrants and may also face a backlash in state elections on Sunday over her open-door policy on refugees.

The artists’ previous projects include graffiti on the boundary fence around the new ECB building in 2014 which showed a female figure representing Justice holding scales with euro symbols in one weighing pan and refugees in the other.

Worth noting that Becker added that the Aylan project, which has used 50 litres of wall paint and about 80 cans of spray paint, is projected to provoke by bringing the issue of refugees to Germans’ front doors. The artist accurately said, “We hope to have people emotionally rethink their selfish fears of refugees coming to Germany.”

Marking that more than a million migrants, including refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, arrived into the EU last year, most making the death-defying sea crossing from Turkey to Greece, then heading north through the Balkans to Germany.

Last year, the deadliest for migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean, more than 3,700 are known to have drowned or gone missing, the International Organization for Migration says. However the actual number is believed to be higher.

“It is a memorial piece representing all children who died fleeing from war to Europe,” says Becker, who along with his artist partner has done voluntary work with refugees in Germany.
“Their lives matter.”

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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