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Two men charged over Paris 'Space Invader' mosaic thefts

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Two men charged over Paris 'Space Invader' mosaic thefts
Jordiet/Flickr
10:09 CEST+02:00
Prosecutors filed theft charges Thursday against two men believed to have posed as Paris city workers as they stripped the French capital's walls of works from French urban artist Invader.
The suspects, aged 29 and 33, were taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with receiving stolen goods as well as aggravated theft, said a judicial source.
   
Invader, whose real name or identity is unknown, produces pixelated works using bathroom tiles that hark back stylistically to early video games such as the 1978 "Space Invaders".
 
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'Hong Kong Phooey' by the French artist known as Invader on exhibition in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

Two years ago, his mosaic of 1970s American cartoon character Hong Kong Phooey sold at auction at Sotheby's in Hong Kong for HK$2 million ($256,000).
   
So far authorities have not recovered any of the more than a dozen stolen works, which were pried off city walls during the summer.
   
Authorities were alerted to the thefts on social media, with Parisians snapping pictures of the pretend workers on Twitter and asking why the city was removing the mosaics.
 
The city quickly realised the men were not its employees.
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