A motorboat putters in the falling darkness, the sound of Arabic spoken above the engine. What happens next to the young men aboard is anybody’s guess.
By now, the odyssey of the massive wave of migrants trying to reach Europe by sea is all too familiar, captured on YouTube and nightly news channels. Some become success stories, others find themselves begging on European streets.
Still others have been sent home, and more than 40,000 have died trying to cross the Mediterranean since 2000.
Now, Europe’s migrant crisis is being viewed from a historical lens at a stately Paris museum, with an exhibit focused on the world’s shifting border walls and their imperfect ability to keep people out.
“Borders can appear and disappear, and most which were considered very important, such as the Berlin Wall or the Iron Curtain, are now quite forgotten by the young,” said political scientist and migration expert Catherine Wihtol de Wenden, who helped put together the "Frontiers" exhibit at the National Museum of Immigration History.
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