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Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum

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Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA
14:43 CEST+02:00
A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

One of the most powerful features of the forthcoming exhibition, according to Dietmar Preissler, head of collections at Bonn's Haus der Geschichte (House of History), will be a mural reproducing the most widely used image of the crisis - the body of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi after the little boy was washed up on a Turkish beach.

The mural was painted by a Syrian refugee in a former supermarket converted into a hostel for asylum-seekers.

The photograph, which went viral in September 2015, brought home the horrors of the migrant crisis to the world.

The museum, which is now collecting items for the exhibition, said one refugee family has already provided clothing.

It has also acquired a car used by people smugglers, and is seeking to obtain an inflatable dinghy and a life-jacket.

Preissler said he hoped the museum would allow visitors 50 or 100 years from now to remember those who fled misery and war.

A mobile phone is also on his wish-list. "Ideally it would be a phone with photos depicting their flight," he told DPA news agency on Thursday.

Preissler said objects in the collection would be made available for temporary exhibitions at other museums around the world.

A spokeswoman told AFP the museum had only just begun collecting the items and had not yet set a date for the exhibition.

Germany opened its doors to a million migrants last year.

In 2015, almost 3,700 migrants, most of whom fled conflicts in Syria and other countries, drowned or went missing at sea, according to the International Organization for Migration.

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