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Banksy arrest revealed to be a hoax as new artwork shows up in hometown

• NY Daily News

A brand-new artwork from guerrilla street artist Banksy has popped up on a wall in his British hometown of Bristol.

His latest stencil is a parody of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer's 1665 masterpiece "Girl with a Pearl Earring."

Dubbed "Girl with a Pierced Eardrum," a burglar alarm has replaced the valuable piece of jewelry seen in the original. It appeared, mysteriously, on a building near the city's docks Monday, reports the Western Daily Press.

The artist also made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the burger van opposite, with the caption "Gallery cafe open Monday to Sunday 8am to 2pm."

Some have speculated that the work is not actually by the elusive street artist, who took over New York City with his "Better Out Than In" open-air exhibition in October 2013.

However, images of the work were subsequently posted on his official website — a tactic often used by the artist to claim pieces as his own.

The discovery of the work came on the same day that rumors swirled online that the yet-to-be-identified and highly secretive stenciller had been arrested and unmasked.

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