French volunteers restore Basquiat memorial at Green-Wood

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BROOKLYN -

French volunteers are visiting Brooklyn's historic Green-Wood Cemetery to restore the memorial of a famous local artist.

One of the paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was born in Brooklyn, recently sold at Sotheby's auction for more than $100 million. The world-renowned painter and graffiti artist died in 1988. He was born just blocks away from the cemetery.

The French volunteers are in New York as part of an exchange program sponsored by Preservation Volunteers. They say it was a powerful moment to be at the painter's grave.

"I went to an exhibition of Basquiat in Switzerland many years ago and it is very emotional to me to be in front of his tomb," said volunteer Fada Mouszaouy.

Cemetery officials say they appreciate this kind of help because visitors don't realize the work it takes to preserve and restore the monuments. Over the years, News 12 has reported on similar international restoration projects.

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