How can I a work of modern art threw

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It looked to me like a child’s clumsy attempt at a mosaic. About a dozen small square tiles of different colors. Glued to the wall, in a geometric design, vaguely like a face with two square eyes.

It stood in the otherwise empty and dingy Paris apartment. As soon as my home, I was again in motion, after almost 20 years away. My tenants, three young single men who showed me round, before you leave.

“What is it?” I asked and pointed to the cluster of tiles.

“This is answered by the intruder,” my tenant. “He is a street artist. He is like a French Banksy.”

I liked quite Banksy, but the young man must have seen that I was not overly impressed with his French counterpart.

“You must go,” he said seriously. “One day there will be a lot of money worth it.”


Is British, I nodded politely, but inwardly I chortled at the idea that a couple of tiles stuck on a bedroom wall could ever be as a work of art.

Don’t try to prove I was too old to get it, I said, “It reminds me of something.” To remind, after struggling for a couple of seconds, exactly what, I cried triumphantly: “Tetris!”

Now it was looking at him, doubtful, so I said: “you know, the video game from the 80s.” “Not Tetris,” he said, mock-patiently. “Space Invaders. The mother of the modern video games.”

He added: “The artists came to one of our parties and stayed a few months. It was his way of saying thank you. Now, we will leave it for you.”

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My neighbors had complained, over the years, with varying degrees of outrage, and perhaps even envy -that the three young men had thrown, noisy parties almost every weekend. The apartment was such a wreck that my tenant admitted that, if he works during the week as an up-and-coming executive, he remained with his girlfriend.

Now he was married, while I turn to the bachelor pad into a respectable bourgeois home.

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The wall has been removed, re-plastered and painted a tasteful hue blanc cassé

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I duly promised to the young men with whom I would look after the work of art and thanked them for leaving it. But then the builders came to replaster and repaint the room.

“I could leave,” I told them.

She looked at me skeptically. “Why do you want to keep it? It will look strange,” the painter said.

I hesitated, but only for a moment. The wall was removed, re-plastered and painted a tasteful hue blanc cassé off-white, far more aesthetically pleasing than a row of colorful tiles.

That was nine years ago, as I have, he was back to France. Learn more

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As the years went by, I noticed more of the Space Invaders mosaics on the buildings around Paris. I never feel a twinge of regret for the destruction of the one in my apartment.

Then, two years ago, it began to dawn on me what I had done.

I reported how one of the distinctive mosaics from the French street artist known as Invader has been displayed on Board the International space station. The European Space Agency said it would be – in her words – highlight the bridges between art and space.

It was larger, but otherwise similar, I’d moved out from my apartment.


Invader was a global phenomenon, made famous in New York, Hong Kong, London, and of course Paris.

Then the real blow came. To learned to my dismay, I was that one of his works had sold for more than €200,000 (£178,000; $233,000).

The mosaics I would have once scoffed at now so coveted that thieves, who went himself as a municipal worker in high-visibility vests to Paris this summer in a targeted manner.

Theft and vandalism have always been problems for the Invader, a graduate of the Paris school of fine arts, was born in 1969, the year man landed on the moon.

However, there are known a counter-strike: fans as “reactivators” to take photographs to reconstruct his works, and those that are damaged or disappear.

I had called up a picture of the one in my apartment, I could have, in the reactivators.

Now, I’m going to live with the fact that I threw a valuable work of art, because I prefer a smooth, blank, white wall.

Maybe I could try to market a piece of that as a work of art. But the Moment has not time – someone already with this concept?