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MP in ironic graffiti incident

Date 20 Apr 2007

A crusade by an Australian MP against graffiti backfired after he spent five hours scrubbing off what turned out to be a specially commissioned piece of street art. Steve Pratt invited the media to witness his removal of an "obnoxious piece of vivid graffiti vandalism" on the side of a concrete bridge in Canberra, the Telegraph reports. After he had reduced it to a discoloured smear with the aid of stiff brushes and industrial-strength detergent, it emerged that it had been commissioned by a local sports club.

John Stanhope, the chief minister of the Australian Capital Territory, said the opposition MP's artistic vigilantism had been referred to police for investigation and possible prosecution. He said: "In his eagerness to thump the law and order tub, it seems that Mr Pratt may have joined the ranks of those he so consistently reviles - the vandals of our community."

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