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Banksy's Twin Towers protected by plexiglass, loved by little girl

Three-year-old Rae Hebel was just one of a crowd of people on snapping photos of Banksy's recent Twin Towers in TriBeCa.

Banksy's recent Twin Towers piece in TriBeCa, featuring an orange flower where the first plane hit on Sept. 11, 2001, is now protected by plexiglass.

The towers have a make-shift street-side frame around them now, almost a Banksy-esque play on his promise to use New York City as a sort of gallery space for the month of October.

On his website, Banksy is calling the show "Better Out Than In" — as an artist who makes a point of putting all of his work out in the open air, framing and protecting his work is not something Banksy would be expected to do.

Though the piece was added to the show a couple of days ago, a steady stream of viewers stopped by to check it out and take photos of and with it on Thursday.

There were rumors that the piece was being watched by some sort of guard, but the most likely candidate, a young man with sunglasses, headphones and a baseball cap pulled down over his eyes denied being assigned to guard the piece.

"People do that?" he asked incredulously. He shook his head. "Nah. I'm just sitting here."

Two other young men hurried up to snap a photo of the piece.

Sonia Hebel, 45, who lives in the Village and had stopped at Staple Street with her daughter Rae, almost 3, chatted with them and they showed her their photos of the other works, excitedly telling her about their tour around the city to see all of Banksy's New York show.

As Rae snapped iPhone photos of the towers, and posed for a few,Hebel recalled an old Banksy installation in the Village from a few years ago, a "pet shop" featuring a giant motorized jaguar with a swinging tail, and chicken nuggets with little legs like real chickens.

Hebel pointed out a seemingly fresh painting up near Banksy that was difficult for most of the people around to parse out.

"Look at that," she said. "'Banksy is French.' Isn't it cool?"

"But he's British," a girl in her twenties interjected.

"Who knows!" Hebel said.

"I think it's a collective," she confided. "B-A-N-S-K-Y — it could be their names, right?"

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat

 
 
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