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Got Grout? Street Artist Space Invader Likely Detained for Vandalism Near MOCA

A piece by Space Invader spotted in March 2011 (Photo by Lord Jim via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Two French nationals were detained on Friday on suspicion of vandalism in the vicinity of the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, where a high-profile exhibit on graffiti and street art opened over the weekend. The Los Angeles Police Department believe that one of the suspects detained is the well known street artist "Space Invader," who uses mosaic tiles as his medium, according to LA Now.

The two suspected vandals were "detained Friday after authorities reportedly caught them with buckets of grout and pieces of tile near the historic Perez building in Little Tokyo." After the two were released, mosaics in the style of Space Invader were left on several buildings near the museum, including on the museum itself.

While the show on its own is drawing much talk, the resultant rash of graffiti in the neighborhood has alarmed the authorities and business owners.

"Art in the Streets" at MOCA runs until August 8. Authorities are working with federal immigration officials to determine if the French vandalism suspects had returned to France.