Artist creates an incredible 2,000ft-long biodegradable mural showing a line of clasped hands at the foot of the Eiffel Tower to raise awareness of the refugee crisis
- Beyond Walls by Guillaume Legros, known as Saype, shows a row of interlocking hands on the Champ de Mars
- The huge work will only last a few days before dissolving into the soil and is best viewed from the Eiffel Tower
- It serves as a tribute to charity SOS Méditerranée which rescues drowning refugees in the Mediterranean Sea
- Saype will unveil similar works in 20 cities around the world including London in the next three years
A huge artwork which hopes to highlight the plight of refugees has been unveiled on the lawn under the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The 1,970ft graffiti Beyond Walls, by artist Saype, real name Guillaume Legros, shows a line of clasped hands and is painted on the grass of the Champ de Mars.
The stunning biodegradable work is best viewed from the top of the Eiffel Tower and serves as a tribute to the charity SOS Méditerranée.
A 1,970ft painting of a chain of interlocked hands has been unveiled on the Champ de Mars lawn under the Eiffel Tower in Paris
The stunning image has been painted directly on to the grass and will dissolve into the soil after only a few days and pedestrians will walk over it
The humanitarian organisation works to rescue migrants at risk of drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.
An average of six refugees died every day last year trying to cross the sea, according to the UN.
The artwork is designed to dissolve into the soil and people will walk over it at the popular tourist hotspot.
The image is best viewed from up high on the Eiffel Tower (pictured) and makes little sense to passersby on the ground
The artwork has been carried out by graffiti artist Guillaume Legros who goes by the name Saype. He will carry out similar projects in 20 cities around the world including London
The image is a tribute to the charity SOS Méditerrannée which rescues refugees at risk of drowning when they attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea
The hands are taken from photographs of real people but Saype does not know who they belong to after he took around 2,000 photographs of hands at an SOS Méditerrannée gala night
It was inaugurated yesterday by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and it marks the start of a three-year project in which Saype will display similar pieces in cities around the world including London, Berlin and Nairobi.
The 30-year-old is the first artist who has ever been allowed to work on the hallowed turf beneath the Eiffel Tower, according to The Guardian.
He said the image is a ‘symbol of togetherness at a time when people are more and more turning in on themselves’.
The image is deliberately ambiguous and has been interpreted as either a rescue attempt or a clasp of friendship
The 30-year-old is the first artist who has ever been allowed to work on the hallowed turf of the Champ de Mars beneath the Eiffel Tower
The project took more than 1,300 litres of paint and many weeks to create and is designed to disappear within days
His grandparents were French Resistance fighters under the Vichy Regime, inspiring him to create work which challenges barriers and conflict.
He said: ‘Right now, it seems like we’ve all got short memories, that we’re living in a kind of negative, prewar atmosphere with economic crisis and people putting up barriers.’
The origin of the hands in the painting is unknown and the image is deliberately ambiguous, representing a rescue or friendship.
The project took more than 1,300 litres of paint and many weeks to create, and will disappear within days.
Saype’s grandparents were French Resistance fighters under the Vichy Regime, inspiring him to create work which challenges barriers and conflict
The street artist said: ‘Right now, it seems like we’ve all got short memories, that we’re living in a kind of negative, prewar atmosphere with economic crisis and people putting up barriers’