Banksy unveils NY artwork protesting painter’s imprisonment in Turkey
Street artist Banksy unveiled a 70-foot long mural in New York City on Thursday to protest the imprisonment of a Kurdish painter in Turkey.
The anonymous artist’s mural features Zehra Dogan trapped behind prison bars, with her left hand holding a pencil that doubles as one of the bars, photos posted on social media show.
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Dogan was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison for painting a Kurdish town that had been reduced to rubble. In that painting, Turkish flags were draped over the destroyed buildings.
An image of the painting was projected onto the wall over Banksy’s work on Thursday, according to the BBC, along with a message about Dogan’s prison sentence.
“Sentenced to 2 years nine months and 22 days in jail for painting this picture,” the message read.
Banksy expressed empathy for Dogan in a statement to The New York Times, saying he had done work far more deserving of punishment.
“I really feel for her. I’ve painted things much more worthy of a custodial sentence,” said the guerrilla artist, who remains anonymous.