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Cartoonists help in refugee crisis – art earnings donated

Finnish comic artists are donating the sales of their original work to the Finnish Red Cross to aid in the ongoing migrant crisis. Some of the country's top cartoonists are involved.

JP Ahonen
Image: Antti Eintola / Yle

Tampere cartoonist JP Ahonen set up an online art store on Monday and asked his friends – some of Finland's best comic artists – to join in and donate the earnings from their sales to the Finnish Red Cross in a bid to pitch in and help with the Europe-wide refugee crisis.

The page opened on Monday morning and by midday more than half of the drawings on display had been sold. Ahonen, who produces a popular comic called Villimpi Pohjola (known in English as "Northern Overexposure"), says he is pleased with the brisk start to his charity campaign.

"There are about 60 different works on sale on the site right now, with more to come once I get more material from the artists," he says. "There are about 20 people involved now, with more signing up."

Other domestic cartoonists involved in Taide Teossa ("Art in Action") include Ville Tietäväinen, Tiitu Takalo, Anni Nykänen, Ville Ranta and Milla Paloniemi.

"At first I figured that if we manage a couple thousand euros then it'll be a win," says Ahonen. "In the first few hours we sold artwork worth more than five thousand. I'm speechless."

The revenue from the art sales at Taide Teossa will be donated in their entirety to the Finnish Red Cross for their work with refugees and reception centres. The site will be open until the end of September.

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