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Neighbors foil attempt to steal Banksy mural

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Neighbors foiled what police say was an attempt to steal a chunk of a cinderblock wall bearing a painting by the elusive British graffiti artist Banksy.

Investigators say the building owner called Friday afternoon, saying someone was attempting to cut out the painting that was created after Hurricane Katrina.

Word of activity at the site appeared earlier Friday on Facebook, with pictures showing part of the wall that had been removed above it.

A neighbor says he asked a man working there for proof he had a permit to take down the painting. By late afternoon, the man had left.

The painting is known locally as the Umbrella Girl or the Rain Girl. It shows a mournful girl holding an umbrella from which rain pours onto her as she extends a cupped hand.

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