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Motorbike washed ashore after shipwreck displayed as artwork

Artist Christian Kosmas Mayer created the installation after developing an interest in the wreck of the MSC Napoli

A MOTORCYCLE that washed up on a beach in Devon following a container ship wreck in 2007 has gone on display alongside Austria’s Danube river.

The BMW G650X was one of dozens of motorcycles aboard the MSC Napoli when it shipwrecked off the coast of Branscombe in East Devon.

Seventeen of the vehicles washed ashore and were soon seized by scavengers, many of whom got to keep the bikes, despite BMW offering £260 for the return of each vehicle.

This model is one of those salvaged machines, and was bought by artist Christian Kosmas Mayer who, after developing an interest in the disaster, tracked down three men who had retrieved one of the motorcycles. After establishing that BMW had relinquished any claim on the machine (following a two year legal battle) he purchased the otherwise brand-new bike in April this year and had it shipped to Austria.

And that very BMW is now mounted on a concrete model of the Napoli inside a glass case at the side of the river Danube in Austria. The installation is named 'Cycles Galore!' and it is displayed at the site of an emergency mooring area where ships on the Danube can stop if they are in danger.

The story of the shipwreck and the motorcycle’s salvage from the beach is told on the bike’s number plate.

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