‘Banksy’ war art is actually by French brasserie owner

A piece of street art found near the D-Day beaches in Normandy - which had been rumoured to be a Banksy - has been revealed as the work of a local brasserie owner.

26 June 2019
By Connexion journalist

The street art in the commune of Arromanches-les-Bains (Calvados, Normandy) shows two young girls writing “Please No More War / Love” on a wall in red paint.

It came to wider attention in recent weeks, as the region has commemorated the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

Observers were quick to point out that the work looked similar to that of anonymous-yet-celebrated British political street artist Banksy - whose pieces often feature children, and political, pacifist messages.

Yet, further searching has revealed the piece to be the work of local brasserie owner, Vincent Brillant, and his artist friend Guillaume Debout (aka “Hum Bub Hub”). The work shows his two young girls - aged four and eight - and was created to spread a message of peace.

Speaking to news source France3, Mr Brillant refuted comparisons with Banksy. He said: “That is just untrue. [Banksy] is artistically extraordinary."

He said: “Where Banksy is strong, is that there is always a message. A sharp message, that is never vulgar, and always controversial.”

The artwork was actually created in 2014, to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and was inspired by conversations between Mr Brillant and British war veterans - many of whom had come to have a drink in the brasserie during the anniversary period.

Mr Brillant explained that the art had been printed onto aluminium sheets, due to a “lack of time”, and had only been intended to last a short while.

He said: “I thought that it would last two weeks at the most [but] the message ‘no more war’ is still relevant.”

His wife, Elodie Brillant, said: “It is unbelievable to see the number of people from all over the world who have come to take their photo in front of the wall."

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Brexit and Beyond for Britons in France*
Featured Help Guide
What the Brexit deal means for UK residents of France, second homeowners and visitors in 2021 and after
Get news, views and information from France