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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 19:27 GMT
French 'love' artist discovered
Couple by the banks of the Seine
Couples usually don't need to read the walls in Paris to get the idea
France has solved the mystery of the graffiti artist who has been covering the walls of its capital city with the word Amour, or Love, for months.

The word has been appearing up to 100 times a night only to be removed by Paris street cleaners the next evening.

Liberation newspaper finally located its author, unemployed artist Jean-Luc Duez, 54, through the internet.

He said he had begun the graffiti after his girl-friend left him but was encouraged by the public to continue.

So it is you writing all those 'I love you's. Keep it up, it makes me feel good
Parisian quoted by Mr Duez

"Before her there was nothing. After her there was room for nothing else," he told the newspaper.

His girlfriend had, he said, been living with him for two years when she called it off in 2001, and attempts to woo her back with flowers and letters were to no avail.

When Mr Duez decided to write "I love you" along her route to work and "wherever else she might go", she had a court order slapped upon him, to keep him from contacting her for three years.

"Two years to go," he told Liberation this week.

Glasgow, mon amour

That might have been the end of his graffiti writing had it not been for the encouragement that he received from passers-by.

"One woman stopped me and she seemed happy," he told Liberation. "She said: 'So it is you writing all those I love you's. Keep it up, it makes me feel good'."

From then on, Mr Duez started writing "Love" rather than "I love you" - a message for everybody, not just his ex-girlfriend.

Now he has expanded his repertoire to include "perseverance" and "patience" and, when his daughter visits, he marks the route to his flat by writing her name Prudence on the pavement.

He also wants to spread his message further afield.

He says he has a contact in Scotland who is now reportedly writing "love" all over the streets of Glasgow.

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