A list of the refugees and migrants who have lost their lives trying to reach Europe, produced for World Refugee Day, has been torn from hoardings in Liverpool’s Chinatown, where it was displayed for the city’s biennial art festival.
The list – also published by The Guardian as a special supplement in June – listed 34,361 names, and had received both critical and public acclaim for its highlighting of the international refugee crisis we still face. The announcement of the act of vandalism came via a tweet from the festival on August 1, though the act itself reportedly happened on the weekend before.
The list is compiled and updated yearly by United for Intercultural Action, a cross-European anti-discrimination network of more than 560 organisations and commemorates refugees and migrants who have died in – or crossing to – Europe since 1993. The artist Banu Cennetoğlu has planted The List in public spaces such as billboards and newspapers since 2007.
A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council has said he is absolutely sure the work wasn’t removed from anyone from the local authority, who might have mistaken it for illegal posters, and the list was posted with permission from the developers who own the site.