September 17, 2018

Liverpool Mayor Calls for Volunteers to Help Protect Repeatedly Attacked Artwork

LIVERPOOL, ENGLANDThe List, an art project which features the names of the 34,361 people who lost their lives trying to reach Europe since 1993 and is currently installed as part of the ongoing Liverpool Biennial, has been attacked for the third time.

The piece by Istanbul-based artist Banu Cennetoğlu was torn down twice already earlier this summer. As a result, Cennetoğlu decided to leave it in its ruined state so that it would exist “as a manifestation and reminder of systematic violence exercised against people.” However, vandals have targeted the work again. It has since been graffitied with the words “Invaders not refugees.”

In response, Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, has denounced the act and called for members of the community to band together to help protect the work. In a post on Twitter published on September 7, the politician wrote: “Those responsible for this defacement of a memorial to innocent dead people fleeing for their lives, have had their brains invaded by hatred. We will not be beaten by fascist thugs and we will pay for another memorial. I want volunteers to help me protect it. #hopenothate”

The 920-foot work, which can be found on hoardings surrounding a construction site on Great George Street, has been “repeatedly damaged, removed and targeted since it was installed,” biennial organizers said in a statement. The List is updated every year by the group United for Intercultural Action, and was published in its entirety by the Guardian on World Refugee Day on June 20. It has been shown in several other cities, including Berlin, Istanbul, Basel, and Athens, but has never been vandalized before.

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