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Angela Merkel painted as Mother Teresa

Balingen - Mulugeta Tekle came to Germany from Eritrea five years ago. His great passion is art. On the occasion of the five years of  "We can do this" he painted Angela Merkel as Mother Theresa. Mainly for one reason: to say thank you.

In an interview with the Schwarzwälder Bote, the 33-year-old says that he is incredibly grateful that he can live here: "With this picture I just want to say thank you for being able to live here well."

He has been painting and drawing pictures since he was 13. He received his first art award at the age of 15. In his home country, however, this passion later becomes a danger to him. The authoritarian regime interprets his works as criticism of the government and so Tekle has to fear for his life. Some of his painting colleagues have already been arrested. He manages to go there in time to leave the country. He finally came to Germany in 2015 via Sudan, Libya and the Mediterranean.

The weeping sun stands for the tears of joy that he shed when he arrived in Germany
His works hang in many places in Balingen, such as the district office, in the Catholic parish hall and in the hospital. The artist, who lives in Balingen, was also involved in painting the power boxes.

He has already made over 60 professional pictures in his life. He paints what "comes into his head," he says. His pictures mostly shine in strong colors and often show scenes from everyday life in his homeland.

Moria refugee camp: Europe must finally find a satisfactory solution
He has already met Angela Merkel personally. This encounter made a big impression on him: "She had a very positive charisma and was very friendly." This prompted him to make a painting of her on the occasion of five years of "We can do this". The 80 by 100 centimeter picture shows the Chancellor in Mother Teresa's clothing, with an African child in her arms. Two fully occupied refugee boats and a weeping sun can be seen in the background. "These are the tears of joy that I and many others shed when we finally arrived in Germany," explains the Eritrean artist. According to his own statements, he worked on the picture for five weeks.

The picture was presented to Annette Widmann-Mauz, Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, on Friday. She gave the artist great praise: "I know many of Angela Merkel's painters, they met her as well. Your friendly attitude is also outstanding here." The Chancellor will receive the picture on Monday, she said.

In her speech, the Minister of State also emphasized: "Moria has shown that it is more important than ever to comply with our humanitarian principles and to help the people." Europe must finally find a satisfactory solution to the situation.

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