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Pictures | Tue Oct 9, 2012 | 2:50pm EDT

Art in the austerity age

<p>Street artists finish a piece by Shepard Fairey in east London, October 9, 2012. British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday he would not soften his austerity programme with a "Plan B" of slower spending cuts after the International Monetary Fund downgraded its growth forecasts for Britain.   REUTERS/Andrew Winning</p>

Street artists finish a piece by Shepard Fairey in east London, October 9, 2012. British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday he would not soften his austerity programme with a "Plan B" of slower spending cuts after the International Monetary...more

Street artists finish a piece by Shepard Fairey in east London, October 9, 2012. British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday he would not soften his austerity programme with a "Plan B" of slower spending cuts after the International Monetary Fund downgraded its growth forecasts for Britain. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

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<p>A man smokes next to a piece of street art in east London, October 9, 2012.   REUTERS/Andrew Winning</p>

A man smokes next to a piece of street art in east London, October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

A man smokes next to a piece of street art in east London, October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

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<p>A man walks past a graffiti depicting a man on crutches holding a sign which reads "Health Kaput" in Athens June 7, 2012. Greece's rundown state hospitals are cutting off vital drugs, limiting non-urgent operations and rationing even basic medical materials for exhausted doctors as a combination of economic crisis and political stalemate strangle health funding. With Greece now in its fifth year of deep recession, trapped under Europe's biggest public debt burden and dependent on international help to keep paying its bills, the effects are starting to bite deeply into vital services.   REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis</p>

A man walks past a graffiti depicting a man on crutches holding a sign which reads "Health Kaput" in Athens June 7, 2012. Greece's rundown state hospitals are cutting off vital drugs, limiting non-urgent operations and rationing even basic medical...more

A man walks past a graffiti depicting a man on crutches holding a sign which reads "Health Kaput" in Athens June 7, 2012. Greece's rundown state hospitals are cutting off vital drugs, limiting non-urgent operations and rationing even basic medical materials for exhausted doctors as a combination of economic crisis and political stalemate strangle health funding. With Greece now in its fifth year of deep recession, trapped under Europe's biggest public debt burden and dependent on international help to keep paying its bills, the effects are starting to bite deeply into vital services. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

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<p>A man walks past graffiti about the euro zone debt crisis with a message reading: "Hope for Greece, Hope for us", on a street in Lisbon June 15, 2012.   REUTERS/Hugo Correia</p>

A man walks past graffiti about the euro zone debt crisis with a message reading: "Hope for Greece, Hope for us", on a street in Lisbon June 15, 2012. REUTERS/Hugo Correia

A man walks past graffiti about the euro zone debt crisis with a message reading: "Hope for Greece, Hope for us", on a street in Lisbon June 15, 2012. REUTERS/Hugo Correia

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<p>Students from music schools of Athens paint at a square in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity rally in Athens October 2, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis</p>

Students from music schools of Athens paint at a square in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity rally in Athens October 2, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Students from music schools of Athens paint at a square in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity rally in Athens October 2, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>Artist Kaya Mar holds his caricature of Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, at a rally in Hyde Park, during a protest organized by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), called 'The March for the Alternative,' in central London March 26, 2011.   REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>

Artist Kaya Mar holds his caricature of Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, at a rally in Hyde Park, during a protest organized by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), called 'The March for the Alternative,' in...more

Artist Kaya Mar holds his caricature of Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, at a rally in Hyde Park, during a protest organized by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), called 'The March for the Alternative,' in central London March 26, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

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<p>A civil servant holds a placard depicting Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as a vulture during a protest against government austerity measures as they block Madrid's main street Paseo de la Castellana August 1, 2012. The placard reads, "Civil servants, you will shit yourself". REUTERS/REUTERS/Juan Medina</p>

A civil servant holds a placard depicting Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as a vulture during a protest against government austerity measures as they block Madrid's main street Paseo de la Castellana August 1, 2012. The placard reads, "Civil...more

A civil servant holds a placard depicting Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as a vulture during a protest against government austerity measures as they block Madrid's main street Paseo de la Castellana August 1, 2012. The placard reads, "Civil servants, you will shit yourself". REUTERS/REUTERS/Juan Medina

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<p>Tourists have their photo taken as they stick out their heads from a cardboard painting depicting Madrid's Puerta del Sol at the encampment in Puerta del Sol June 2, 2011.   The t-shirts read: "We Are Sol" and "We want another world". REUTERS/Susana Vera</p>

Tourists have their photo taken as they stick out their heads from a cardboard painting depicting Madrid's Puerta del Sol at the encampment in Puerta del Sol June 2, 2011. The t-shirts read: "We Are Sol" and "We want another world". REUTERS/Susana...more

Tourists have their photo taken as they stick out their heads from a cardboard painting depicting Madrid's Puerta del Sol at the encampment in Puerta del Sol June 2, 2011. The t-shirts read: "We Are Sol" and "We want another world". REUTERS/Susana Vera

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<p>A man rides his bicycle past graffiti painted on a wall in Burgos, central Spain, June 28, 2012. The graffiti reads in Spanish: "50,000 million for rescuing banks and five million unemployed". REUTERS/Feliz Ordonez</p>

A man rides his bicycle past graffiti painted on a wall in Burgos, central Spain, June 28, 2012. The graffiti reads in Spanish: "50,000 million for rescuing banks and five million unemployed". REUTERS/Feliz Ordonez

A man rides his bicycle past graffiti painted on a wall in Burgos, central Spain, June 28, 2012. The graffiti reads in Spanish: "50,000 million for rescuing banks and five million unemployed". REUTERS/Feliz Ordonez

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<p>A man walks past a wall mural with the words "fight" and "rebels" (bottom) on a street in Lisbon April 14, 2011. In Lisbon, union leaders were preparing their response to what they expect to be harsher austerity as Brussels and IMF officials put together new measures in return for a loan.   REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro</p>

A man walks past a wall mural with the words "fight" and "rebels" (bottom) on a street in Lisbon April 14, 2011. In Lisbon, union leaders were preparing their response to what they expect to be harsher austerity as Brussels and IMF officials put...more

A man walks past a wall mural with the words "fight" and "rebels" (bottom) on a street in Lisbon April 14, 2011. In Lisbon, union leaders were preparing their response to what they expect to be harsher austerity as Brussels and IMF officials put together new measures in return for a loan. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

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<p>A poster depicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde hangs in front of the Greek parliament during an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square February 12, 2012.  REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis</p>

A poster depicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde hangs in front of the Greek parliament during an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square...more

A poster depicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde hangs in front of the Greek parliament during an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square February 12, 2012. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

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<p>A demonstrator holds up a mobile consisting of cut-outs depicting Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L), Santander bank chairman Emilio Botin and Socialist Workers' Party leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba in front of Madrid's City Hall during an unemployment protest against government austerity measures in Madrid July 21, 2012. REUTERS/Javier Barbancho</p>

A demonstrator holds up a mobile consisting of cut-outs depicting Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L), Santander bank chairman Emilio Botin and Socialist Workers' Party leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba in front of Madrid's City Hall during an...more

A demonstrator holds up a mobile consisting of cut-outs depicting Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L), Santander bank chairman Emilio Botin and Socialist Workers' Party leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba in front of Madrid's City Hall during an unemployment protest against government austerity measures in Madrid July 21, 2012. REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

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<p>A portrait of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, featuring him as a clown, is hung from a noose during a rally against a new austerity package in Athens' Constitution (Syntagma) square June 2, 2011.   REUTERS/John Kolesidis</p>

A portrait of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, featuring him as a clown, is hung from a noose during a rally against a new austerity package in Athens' Constitution (Syntagma) square June 2, 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

A portrait of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, featuring him as a clown, is hung from a noose during a rally against a new austerity package in Athens' Constitution (Syntagma) square June 2, 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>A demonstrator puts up banners on the main statue of a bear in Madrid's Puerta del Sol May 22, 2011.    REUTERS/Paul Hanna</p>

A demonstrator puts up banners on the main statue of a bear in Madrid's Puerta del Sol May 22, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

A demonstrator puts up banners on the main statue of a bear in Madrid's Puerta del Sol May 22, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

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<p>A carnival reveller poses in front of a float depicting European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) giving water to Portuguese Prime Minister Passos Coelho (R), alongside Foreign Minister Paulo Portas and IMF delegation chief Paul Thomson (back), at the Torres Vedras parade February 21, 2012. The Portuguese have mostly quietly accepted reforms in the labour market, soaring unemployment and cuts to welfare to rein in their debt mountain - but calls to cancel the centuries-old tradition of carnival went a step too far. The government tried, in the name of austerity imposed by international lenders, to force the end of the public holiday but the country effectively shut down all the same as the Portuguese refused to go without their pre-Lent festival. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro</p>

A carnival reveller poses in front of a float depicting European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) giving water to Portuguese Prime Minister Passos Coelho (R), alongside Foreign Minister Paulo Portas and IMF delegation chief Paul Thomson...more

A carnival reveller poses in front of a float depicting European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) giving water to Portuguese Prime Minister Passos Coelho (R), alongside Foreign Minister Paulo Portas and IMF delegation chief Paul Thomson (back), at the Torres Vedras parade February 21, 2012. The Portuguese have mostly quietly accepted reforms in the labour market, soaring unemployment and cuts to welfare to rein in their debt mountain - but calls to cancel the centuries-old tradition of carnival went a step too far. The government tried, in the name of austerity imposed by international lenders, to force the end of the public holiday but the country effectively shut down all the same as the Portuguese refused to go without their pre-Lent festival. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

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