‘Dismaland’ by Banksy concludes its 5-week run

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‘Dismaland’ by Banksy concludes its 5-week run

LONDON - Street artist Banksy has said he will send the material from his closed amusement park in England to France to help shelter refugees who are camped out there.

Banksy said on his Dismaland website Monday that all of the timbers and fixtures from the park are being sent to a refugee camp outside the northwest French port of Calais for the construction of shelters. Thousands of refugees are in the Calais area seeking entry into Britain.

“Coming soon ... Dismaland Calais,’’ the artist said on his posting.

The unusual amusement park that closed Sunday after five weeks mocked capitalism and consumer culture. But it brought an economic boom to a faded British seaside town of Weston-super-Mare.

Tourism body Visit Somerset says the exhibition brought 20 million pounds ($30 million) to the region that has struggled since foreign vacations replaced local seaside holidays for many Britons. Officials say it drew more than 150,000 people.

Banksy’s Dismaland “bemusement park’’ transformed a derelict outdoor swimming pool in Weston-super-Mare into a macabre parody of a theme park, complete with a derelict castle, a dead Cinderella and a Grim Reaper in a bumper car.

Fans from around the world snapped up all available tickets - limited to 4,000 a day - for the event billed as a “festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism.’’ A final concert Friday night featured performances by De La Soul, Pussy Riot and Blur singer Damon Albarn.

Banksy said the project was not a swipe at Disney, despite its familiar-looking castle logo. It satirized the tourism and entertainment industries, with exhibits including a sculpture of a woman being attacked by a cloud of seagulls and a pond where visitors could steer model boats crammed with migrants. The site also featured work by some 50 international and British artists.

The artist told the Sunday Times newspaper he was inspired by the seasonal theme parks that pop up at Christmas “where they stick some antlers on an Alsatian dog’’ and spray fake snow around.

“It’s ambitious, but it’s also crap,’’ he said. “I think there’s something very poetic and British about all that.’’

Banksy, who has never disclosed his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in his home town of Bristol, near Weston.

AP

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