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Migrants and refugees stand on the deck of the rescue vessel Golfo Azzurro after being rescued by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms workers on the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, June 16, 2017. A Spanish aid organization Thursday rescued more than 600 migrants who were attempting the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in packed boats from Libya.
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Citizenship

Liverpool's Refugee Memorial Artwork Has Just Been Vandalised for a Third Time


Why Global Citizens Should Care
The List forces the onlooker to realise the sheer scale of Europe’s refugee crisis. It makes us realise that the crisis is costing the lives of real people every day. The UN’s Global Goals can’t be achieved without taking into the account the rights and needs of refugees, as well as the people who remain in conflict zones all over the world. You can join us by standing up for their rights here

An artwork known as The List has been on display in Liverpool’s Chinatown since July 12 — and already, it has been vandalised three times. 

The work includes the names of all 34,361 refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers who have died while trying to reach Europe since 1993. 

In the latest attack, someone has spray painted “invaders not refugees” across the work — in an act described by the city’s mayor as “despicable.” 

Take action: Refugee? Migrant? Human Being. Show Your Support for All People — No Matter Where They Were Born

“Those responsible for this defacement of a memorial to innocent dead people fleeing for their lives, have had their brains invaded by hatred,” wrote Mayor Joe Anderson on Twitter, including the hashtag #HopeNotHate. “We will not be beaten by fascist thugs and we will pay for another memorial. I want volunteers to help me protect it.”

Anderson has also pledged to replace the work.

The most recent vandalism has prompted an outpouring of shock on Twitter, with many Liverpudlians emphasising that whoever did it doesn’t speak for their city. 

Related Stories Aug. 2, 2018 Liverpool Artwork Listing Names of Refugees and Migrants Who Died Is Destroyed

The work by Turkish artist Banu Cennetoğlu is displayed on a temporary wall outside a building site on Great George Street, with the permission of site owners, as part of the Liverpool Biennial. 

“It is timely and important to make The List public during a global refugee crisis,” said the Liverpool Biennial in a statement in July, when the artwork was first put on display. 

The names that appear on The List are compiled and updated every year by United for Intercultural Action — a network of more than 560 organisations in 48 countries, working against discrimination.

The artwork also vanished one weekend in July, prompting concern about how or when it had been removed, and whether it was a deliberate act or a mistake. It was then replaced, before being torn down again just days later, in August. 

Cennetoğlu said at the time the torn artwork would be left as a reminder of “this systemic violence exercised against people.” 

She said in a joint statement with Liverpool Biennial — the UK’s largest festival of contemporary visual art — that the work had been “repeatedly damaged, removed, and targeted since it was installed” on July 12. 

According to the statement, The List hasn’t been attacked in anywhere else it has been installed — including Berlin, Istanbul, Basel, and Athens. 

Cennetoğlu has been recreating The List, as it grows ever longer, since she first came across it in 2002. She’s had it published on posters, in newspapers, and on billboards, and across numerous countries.