Crossings: Community And Refuge

11/03/2021 - 12/06/2022

Ipswich Museum


Suitable for Everyone

Arts and Craft

About this Display

Engaging audiences in questions of identity, belonging and sharing our world, a British Museum Spotlight Loan Crossings: community and refuge will tour the Lampedusa Cross together with poignant boat artwork around the UK for the first time, and will be displayed in Ipswich Museum in Spring 2022.

Made from the remnants of a refugee boat wrecked near the Italian island of Lampedusa, the cross carries messages about kindness, community and the indifference faced by many refugees.

In October 2013, an overcrowded boat carrying migrants from Somalia and Eritrea caught fire, capsized and sank near Lampedusa, close to the coast of Tunisia. 311 lives, fleeing persecution and seeking refuge in Europe were lost. Moved by the plight of survivors, the island’s carpenter, Francesco Tuccio, made crosses from the wreckage. These signified salvation from the sea, hope for the future and the fate of many migrants.

Alongside the Cross will be a display of 12 tiny boats from, Syrian-born Issam Kourbaj’s series Dark Water, Burning World. Made from repurposed bicycle mudguards tightly packed with burnt matches, the artwork represents the fragile vessels used by refugees to make their perilous voyages as a response to the ongoing tragedy in Syria.

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This event is free to all.

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