Banksy's Dismaland in Weston-super-Mare closes its doors for final time

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The park has proved very popular with tourists and locals

Visitors to Banksy's Dismaland have toured the pop-up "bemusement park" for the final time.

Five weeks ago the elusive Bristolian led other artists in filling a derelict lido at Weston-super-Mare with thought-provoking art and installations.

Tourism bosses said the dark attraction brought more than 150,000 paying visitors and £20m to the seaside town.

Once dismantled, all the fixtures will be sent to the Calais refugee camp "to build shelters", its website says.

Image source, PA
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The five-week dark theme park has given Weston-super-Mare's economy a £20m boost
Image source, Getty Images
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The final three public viewings have taken place in the seaside town
Image source, PA
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De La Soul and Pussy Riot were part of a Masked Ball evening event on Friday

Among the exhibits were a dilapidated fairy castle, a distorted mermaid and a pond of migrant-filled boats.

Banksy previously said many of the works required "audience participation".

"A dead princess is only complete when surrounded by gawping crowds with their cameras out, or the opportunity to photograph yourself pulling an amazed expression when a killer whale leaps from a toilet," he added.

"I guess you'd say it's a theme park whose big theme is 'theme parks should have bigger themes'."

Kath Cockshaw, art producer

Artist friends went and reported feeling incredibly moved by some of what they'd seen - they came back feeling that it was time for their own art to get political.

I thought the work on show by Banksy and other artists was both reflective of some of the worst socio-political atrocities we are living through, and audacious in its message and production.

Banksy is the street art king of meaning.

I'm not sure whether street art will be welcomed in Weston-super-Mare the way it is in Bristol, but it sure has contributed massively to that town's cultural and retail economy.

I hope Dismaland inspired local young people politically, socially and artistically.

On Friday, controversial Russian punk band Pussy Riot joined De La Soul and surprise guest Damon Albarn for a live evening event, a Masked Ball.

The final viewings took place at 11:00, 14:00 and 19:00 BST.

More than 50 international artists were involved at the site chosen by Banksy after the artist walked past the old lido six months ago.

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The abandoned lido could be used for other events once Dismaland has been dismantled

The Tropicana outdoor pool and leisure facility closed in 2000 because of falling visitor numbers and had been left abandoned since.

But North Somerset Council said it had already lined up other events for the site.

"We have three or four arts-based events lined up already to take place in the building after the Dismaland show has been dismantled and more in the planning stages," said a spokeswoman.

"This will allow us time to discuss with the market the longer-term arrangements for the building which Dismaland has demonstrated has potential as a space for arts and performance."

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