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Art installation of 14,000 life-jackets highlights the plight of refugees

Click to play video: 'Art installation of 14,000 life-jackets highlights the plight of refugees'
Art installation of 14,000 life-jackets highlights the plight of refugees
WATCH: Artist Ai Weiwei used 14,000 salvaged life jackets from refugees. – Feb 18, 2016

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has once again highlighted the plight of a flood of refugees trying to reach Europe every day by sea.

In his latest art installation in Berlin, the artist used 14,000 life-jackets left by refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos, to cover the columns of the German city’s Konzerthaus venue.

But tens of thousands of life-vests remain strewn on the island’s beaches and at a landfill near its north coast where most landings occur.

READ: Refugee family reunited after 9 years in limbo

The International Organization for Migration said last week that more than 400 people have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The refugee crossings in the first six weeks of 2016 are nearly 10 times the rate of the same period last year.

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Ai, 58, who often uses his art for advocacy purposes, has visited Lesbos several times since the beginning of the refugee crisis.

The installation is intended to remind people of the ongoing refugee crisis ahead the Cinema for Peace event at the Konzerthaus in Berlin on February 15, 2016, on the sidelines of the Berlinale Film Festival. / AFP / John MACDOUGALL.

Last year, he began sharing photos and videos from the Greek island on his personal Instagram page, drawing attention to the troubles suffered by refugees making the dangerous journey to escape war.

With files from the Associated Press.

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