After the stone tower of St John the Baptist fell into disuse as a lighthouse, it was replaced at first by a primitive oil lamp suspended in the dunes to mark the sandbars at the river mouth. Two years later a 10-metre tower was mounted above a keeper’s cottage but this became masked when the maritime hospital was built in 1861 and a new, taller tower was constructed in 1868. The two buildings, referred to locally as father and son (le père et fils), stood next to each other until they were dynamited by the Germans in 1944.[18] The current concrete lighthouse, designed by Georges Tourry, was completed in 1951 and is 45 metres high. Its light can be seen from a distance of 24 nautical miles (44 km).[19]
Because of the secretive nature of Banksy's work and identity, it is uncertain what techniques he uses to generate the images in the stencils, though it is assumed he uses computers for some images due to the photographic quality of much of his work. He mentions in his book Wall and Piece that as he was starting to do graffiti, he was always either caught or could never finish the art in one sitting. He claims he changed to stencilling while hiding from the police under a rubbish lorry, when he noticed the stencilled serial number. He then devised a series of intricate stencils to minimise time and overlapping of the colour.
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