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Police raid ex-Banksy agent’s gallery for bizarre reason – media – RT

London police have raided an art gallery owned by Banksy’s former agent after mistaking a hyper-realistic sculpture of an unconscious woman for a real body, according to Artnet News. Officers assumed the model had suffered a heart attack, a gallery employee told the outlet.

Hannah Blakemore was closing the Laz Emporium on London’s Lexington Street last month, and after going upstairs to make herself a cup of tea, she came back down to find “the door coming off its hinges and two confused policemen” inside, the news site reported on Friday.

Officers said they had received a report from a woman who had not moved for two hours, and assumed she had “a heart attack or she overdosed,” said Blakemore.

Instead they found ‘Kristina’, a life-size sculpture of a woman passed out at a computer desk by American artist Mark Jenkins. The sculpture was commissioned by gallery owner Steve Lazarides, who wanted a depiction of a time when his sister fell asleep with her face in a bowl of soup. Crafted from foam and tape and dressed in a hoodie and sneakers, “Kristina” is valued at $22,065, Artnet noted.

“Officers forced entry to the address, where they discovered the person was actually a model,” a spokesperson for London’s Metropolitan Police told the site. “The Met has a duty to respond if there is a welfare concern.”

The sculpture can be seen through the gallery’s windows, and Blakemore said paramedics were called when it was displayed at an art and design fair in October. “The job is to provoke and it is certainly to achieve it”, she says.

From the late 1990s to 2008, Lazarides worked as an agent and photographer for Banksy, and was the first promoter to show the legendary graffiti artist’s work in a gallery.

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