Banksy Sells Art Made by Refugees in Greece

The elusive artist called Banksy set up a shop in south London earlier this week, featuring among other items, welcome mats made by migrants who are living in Greek camps.

Banksy announced that he was going to sell products online as well, and that people could visit the shop only for the next two weeks.

The street artist added that he was being “forced” to launch the bricks-and-mortar shop – called “Gross Domestic Product” – because a greeting card company was attempting to do business using his name.

Banksy was advised that opening a physical shop which displayed his merchandise would help him protect the trademark on his art.

The temporary installation, which will be on view for two weeks in London’s Croydon neighborhood, incorporates multiple window displays as part of a shop that is not, in fact, open to passersby.

Banksy’s Gross Domestic Product is the latest installation to critique an array of global society’s major issues, including human migration, animal exploitation, and the “surveillance state.”

However, some of the items on display are available for purchase in Gross Domestic Product’s associated online store, including the welcome mats, which Banksy hired migrants in Greek detainment camps to sew; all proceeds received go back to the migrants and refugees themselves.

Revenue from sales of the sets of dolls will also support the purchase of a replacement vessel for activist Pia Klemp, whose boat was confiscated by the Italian government.

The product line is rounded out with such oddities as disco balls made from riot gear helmets, handbags made of bricks, and signed — and partially used — £10 cans of spray paint.