Banksy's Dismaland moves to Calais to provide shelter for refugees

The so-called Bemusement Park will be repurposed, its creator says

Adam Withnall@adamwithnall
Sunday 27 September 2015 15:22
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A fairytale castle which forms part of Dismaland - Bemusement Park, Banksy's biggest show to date, in Western-super-Mare, Somerset.
A fairytale castle which forms part of Dismaland - Bemusement Park, Banksy's biggest show to date, in Western-super-Mare, Somerset.

Banksy's Dismaland tourist attraction in Weston-super-Mare is to be dismantled and relocated to Calais to provide shelter for refugees, its creator has revealed.

The art installation/theme park closes its gates for the last time on Sunday, after a hugely successful - if miserable - five-week run.

Local officials estimate that the attraction brought £20 million of business to the seaside town, and art critic David Lee told the BBC: "With figures like that he could do whatever he likes wherever he chooses."

Banksy's Dismaland trailer

In a post on the Dismaland website on Sunday, an announcement read: "Coming soon… Dismaland Calais. All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the ‘jungle’ refugee camp near Calais to build shelters."

It included a picture of the Calais camp superimposed with Dismaland's fire-ravaged fairtytale Cinderella Castle, and added: "No online tickets will be available."

There are an estimated 5,000 refugees camped in and around the French port of Calais, including people displaced from Syria, Libya and Eritrea.

A post on the Dismaland website from Sunday

Refugees were a theme within the Dismaland park itself, which included ponds with motor boats filled with desperate asylum-seekers.

When Dismaland opened, Banksy described it as "a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism", adding: "This is an art show for the 99 per cent who'd rather be at Alton Towers."

The Bristol-based artist later told The Sunday Times: "This is not a street art show. It's modelled on those failed Christmas parks that pop up every December - where they stick some antlers on an Alsatian dog and spray fake snow on a skip.

"It's ambitious, but it's also crap. I think there's something very poetic and British about all that."

The process to decommission Dismaland is expected to take three weeks.

Additional reporting by agencies

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