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Banksy in Tokyo? City launches probe

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Tokyo is trying to verify if a drawing of a rat holding an umbrella that has been sprayed near a monorail station is the work of the famous and mysterious street artist Banksy.

“We noticed there is a drawing of a rat painted with spray” on the door near the Hinode station in central Tokyo, government official Koji Sugiyama told AFP.

“We think there’s a possibility it has been done by Banksy.”

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A rat holding an umbrella is one of Banksy’s most famous artworks.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike posted photos of the painting on Twitter, saying, “There’s a painting of cute rat in Tokyo which could be Banksy’s work! A gift to Tokyo?”

The government removed the door, which is designed to prevent flooding during high tides, and placed it in storage Wednesday night to prevent any damage, Sugiyama said.

It is unclear exactly when it was painted but the public safety bureau has known about the graffiti for a long time, he added.

TOKYO METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT/AFP / Handout The government has removed the door with the graffiti and placed it in storage to prevent any damage

There are photos on social media that appear to show the same painting and date back several years.

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But it was only in December that the government realised it might have been crafted by Banksy after local residents contacted them, the official said.

The government hopes to find out if it is truly a work by Banksy, but “we still don’t know if there’s an expert in Japan”, Sugiyama admitted, adding that the government will discuss ways to verify the painting.

Banksy, a British street artist whose identity is known to only a handful of friends, caused a sensation in October when one of his paintings began shredding itself, just after selling for $1.4 million (1.2 million euros).

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Experts say “Girl with Balloon”, which is now called “Love is in the Bin”, is probably worth even more because the stunt created such a massive media stir.


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COVID-19

Trump uses Memorial Day to attack Biden and recycle old lies about his coronavirus response

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NYT: "At Least 430,000 People Have Arrived in the United States on Direct Flights From China"

President Donald Trump used the occasion of the Memorial Day holiday to recycle old, debunked lies about his likely Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

In a tweet Trump made several accusations, none of them are true.

Sleepy Joe Biden (mostly his reps.) went crazy when I banned, in late January, people coming in from China. He called me “xenophobic” & then went equally “nuts” when we let in 44,000 people - until he was told they were American citizens coming home. He later apologized!

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Trump scorned for claiming he has ‘great reviews’ on COVID-19: ‘This is not a game show’

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On Monday, President Donald Trump complained on Twitter that he wasn't getting enough credit for his COVID-19 response, but that he was still getting "great reviews" on it all the same.

Commenters on social media were not pleased with the president's remarks.

Great reviews? Like on Rotten Tomatoes?

— Lira (@LoudmouthLira) May 25, 2020

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Trump claims ‘great reviews’ for COVID-19 response — while complaining he ‘got no credit’

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In a tweet fired off this Monday afternoon, President Trump painted a rosy picture of the response to his administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying he's received "great reviews" for his performance.

"Great reviews on our handling of Covid 19, sometimes referred to as the China Virus," Trump wrote. 'Ventilators, Testing, Medical Supply Distribution, we made a lot of Governors look very good - And got no credit for so doing. Most importantly, we helped a lot of great people!"

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