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Two men charged over Paris ‘Space Invader’ mosaic thefts

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.

Two men charged over Paris 'Space Invader' mosaic thefts
Jordiet/Flickr
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.

TRAVEL NEWS

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro

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