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$15M private island lair features underground car wash entry

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This wild mansion located on a private island in Minnesota comes with an especially unique amenity: unlimited underground car washes.

A one-of-a-kind home fit for a mysterious international spy is located on Lake Minnetonka, and has just listed for $15 million. To get to the home, the owner must wheel through an underground tunnel — complete with car wash — to park in an eight-car garage.

Visitors must take a regular bridge to the terraced motor court, but from there, they have the option to enter the tunnel on the right or the garage and car wash on the left. The two sides join and lead to an outlet in a mysterious undisclosed location.

“By [having guests enter] the garage on the side, there is an opportunity to screen the entrance from adjoining properties… another consideration was security,” said the builder, David Erotas, to the Greenwood city council according to 2014 meeting minutes.

“The parking area is intended to be a direct access to the house for family and friends,” the owner, Kam Talebi, told the city council.

The private island is in St. Albans Bay on Lake Minnetonka in Greenwood, Minnesota.
The private island is in Saint Albans Bay on Lake Minnetonka in Greenwood, Minnesota.
Realtor.com
“We’re starting to get quite a bit of interest globally” from potential buyers, listing broker Jessica Prudden of Prudden & Company told the New York Post.
The home, which includes several underground tunnels, also comes with a pool.
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The buyer can dry off from a dip in the lake or the pool next to one of the home’s six fireplaces.
The buyer can dry off from a dip in the lake or the pool next to one of the home’s six fireplaces.
Realtor.com

The entrance isn’t the home’s only underground tunnel. The two-winged mansion has an oversized glass dome-topped pool house (and heated outdoor pool) that is accessible via a subterranean tunnel as well, according to the listing.

What else do Batman-like millionaires like to do, other than sneak around underground? In this house, they can drink in the bar lounge and wine rooms, or they can puff a cigar in the poker room, according to the listing.

For exercise and relaxation, the home offers an indoor grotto with gold-colored tiling, a full gym, a sauna, a locker room and a relaxation room. The buyer can dry off next to one of the home’s six fireplaces.

An indoor pool with a gold-colored tiling inset is pictured.
An indoor grotto pool with a gold-colored tiling is pictured.
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Want a drink? The home has a bar lounge, double wine rooms and a cigar and poker room.
Want a drink? The home has a bar lounge, wine rooms and a cigar and poker room.
Realtor.com

The heated outdoor pool has views of the lake.

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Two main wings are connected by an interior courtyard, and a dome-topped pool house is accessible via an underground tunnel.

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The mansion is a hybrid of Mediterranean and modern style. Terracotta roof tiles provide sharp contrast to the huge, arched 80-feet by 18-feet skylight in the center of the house. It is one of the largest glass-enclosed atriums in Minnesota, centered around a steel-cable glass elevator.

“We’re starting to get quite a bit of interest globally” from potential buyers, listing broker Jessica Prudden of Prudden Company told The Post. 

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The atrium has a glass elevator with steel cables servicing four floors of the home.

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The home’s asking price is about two and a half times more expensive per square foot than other homes in the area, which typically ask about $1.2 million, according to Realtor.com.

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This is the scaled-down version?

The completion of the home end caps almost two decades of fraud, false starts and finally, a restaurateur with a vision. Now, for the first time, it is finished and on the market — giving the public a glimpse of the mega-mansion shrouded in rumor.

Beginning in 2003, eccentric onetime-millionaire developer Jeffrey Wirth allegedly spent more than $5 million of his company’s money — fraudulently — to build this mansion in St. Albans Bay on Lake Minnetonka.

The formal dining room is decked out in geode-like wallpaper.
The formal dining room is decked out in geode-like wallpaper.
Realtor.com

He named it the “Isle of Windemere” after Ernest Hemingway’s boyhood summer cottage in Michigan.

But he paused construction in 2006 and listed it for sale in 2010 for $6 million. “The Isle of Windemere” sat half-finished and overtaken by weeds while the price dropped to $4 million.

The city received “a lot of phone calls complaining” about the eyesore, according to City Clerk Gus Karpas, and Greenwood ordered Wirth to finish the exterior by July 2012. But by then, he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and went to federal prison, the Star Tribune reported.

The home has five bedrooms. This bedroom is staged with a deck area.
The home has five bedrooms, including this one which is staged with an office area.
Realtor.com
This bedroom has a red ceiling tray and a large vanity.
This bedroom has a red tray ceiling and a large vanity.
Realtor.com

‘Crave’ owner drops a few million to finish the project

Local complaints about the “eyesore” were relieved by local restaurateur Kam Talebi, who purchased the island for somewhere between $1 million and $2 million in 2013.

He appears to have spent at least $5 million to finish renovating the five-bedroom, nine-bathroom property over the better part of a decade, records show.

Talebi turned to the original developer, luxury homebuilder David Erotas, to finish the mansion, according to Artful Living magazine. 

The primary bedroom suite has a huge walk-in closet.
The primary bedroom suite has a huge walk-in closet.
Realtor.com

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This sitting room has a huge slab fireplace.

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Round seating complements rounded windows.

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Wirth faced divorce in 2008, halting construction, and by 2012, he pled guilty to tax fraud and went to federal prison.
Wirth faced divorce in 2008, halting construction, and by 2012, he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and went to federal prison.
Realtor.com

“[Talebi is] going to scale down the interiors — which were admittedly pretty over the top… but many of the unusual features he’s going to keep,” Erotas told Artful Living when the project resumed in 2013.

Asking $15 million, the home is listed at about two and a half times more expensive per square foot than other homes in the area, which typically go for about $1.2 million total, according to Realtor.com.

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Rachel Zegler cast as Disney’s live-action ‘Snow White’

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Rachel Zegler cast as Disney's live-action 'Snow White'

She’s the fairest of them all.

Up-and-coming actress Rachel Zegler is set to star in Disney’s live-action remake of the classic animated fairytale “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

It’s the second lead role for Zegler, 20, who was previously cast as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming reboot of “West Side Story.”

Following a string of Disney live-action remakes — including this year’s Emma Stone-starring “Cruella,” 2020’s “Mulan” and 2019’s “The Lion King” — Disney plans to expand the timeless story of an orphaned princess who falls ill after eating a poisonous apple.

Zegler’s future “West Side Story” performance apparently impressed casting directors and Disney studio executives, sealing the deal.

“Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts. Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale,” director Marc Webb said in a statement to Deadline.

Sticking with a musical approach to the story, the film will feature new tracks with a modern twist. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who worked on “Dear Evan Hansen” and “La La Land,” are set to create music for the film. It’s not certain whether timeless songs from the 1937 animated film — including “Someday My Prince Will Come” and “Heigh-Ho” — will likely be part of the remake.

Zegler got her start in Hollywood after auditioning at a 2018 open casting call for “West Side Story,” which will premiere in theaters on Dec. 10. She was also recently cast in DC’s superhero sequel “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.”

Erin Cressida Wilson (“The Girl on the Train”) will write the script, and production is expected to begin sometime in 2022.

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Jamie Oliver stops using term ‘kaffir’ over racism concerns

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Jamie Oliver stops using term 'kaffir' over racism concerns

The term struck a sour note.

UK celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has announced that he will stop using the name “kaffir lime leaves” in his recipe books and on TV shows due to concerns over the word’s racial connotations.

Oliver, 46, has already scrubbed the fraught moniker from his online recipe for quick chicken laksa, while the TV cook’s team plans to review and edit prior content where the term was used, the Daily Mail reported.

“I can confirm that we’re also making the change — to lime leaves — and won’t be using the term going forward,” a source close to the “Oliver’s Twist” host told the publication in a statement.

Derived from the South East Asian citrus hystrix plant, kaffir lime leaves are a popular ingredient in everything from Indonesian traditional medicine to Thai coconut curry, to which they add a dash of zest.

Unfortunately, the name’s origins are less than savory: “kaffir” is a highly offensive slur that was historically used to refer to black people, particularly in South Africa during the Apartheid era of the 20th century. Today, calling someone the K-word there can potentially land a person in jail.

In order to avoid reheating old racial tensions, Oliver plans to replace “kaffir lime leaves” with just “lime leaves” going forward. The celebrity chef’s decision comes after Tesco, Waitrose and other UK chains banned the use of the word on their products.

The limes aren’t the only foodstuffs receiving a makeover in the name of racial harmony. On this side of the pond, snack brands from Uncle Ben’s to Aunt Jemima have overhauled their controversial imagery to promote equality following the police killings of George Floyd and other black individuals.

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Sex abuse rituals at NJ boarding school exposed in cartoons

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Glenn Head didn’t wait 50 years just to pull punches. After all, he survived a child’s waking nightmare at the hands of a pervert – not to mention the self-destructive sex-and-substance abuse streak it spawned in his adulthood. He didn’t get out alive by throwing fights. 

Don’t let that whimsical cover art throw you: “Chartwell Manor,” the veteran cartoonist’s harrowing new graphic memoir, recounts his two years at the Mendham, NJ boarding school run by headmaster “Sir” Terence Michael Lynch — a serial sexual abuser who manipulated young boys into “cuddling sessions” after fondling and beating their nude bodies. 

Head’s “bland, suburban” existence was shattered at 13 when he scored subpar marks in the 7th grade. On a rainy Sunday in fall 1971, his parents sent him packing to the fancy “British-stye” prep school hyped as a haven of “healing and reform” for troubled kids. He started cartooning at 14 to cope with “entering a real-world horror comic — depraved, criminal and corrupting to so many who attended it.”

Now, five decades later, Head’s critically acclaimed triumph-over-trauma tale could help bring a measure of justice to his fellow victims — at least the ones who managed to go on living with their emotional scars.

“I always feel like, with an autobiography or memoir, you’re wasting your time if you’re not risking something. I sort of bet all my chips on it,” Head told The Post of sharing his darkest secrets. Faded photos from his “Chartwell Manor” era capture an unsmiling kid in a smart school uniform, with curly blonde hair tamed into a side-part — and haunted blue eyes concealing revelations “it took a whole lifetime” to make.

Glenn Head in 1973 during his second year at Chartwell Manor.
Glenn Head in 1973 during his time at Chartwell Manor. He told The Post, “I’ve been in touch with some alumni — and a lot of people I knew who were kids then committed suicide or are dead from drug overdoses. Others [got into] criminal things. A lot of that grew right out of that school.”
Courtesy the author/Fantagraphics

Head’s “merciless self-examination” — as legendary cartoonist Robert “R.” Crumb declared in his “masterpiece!” review — almost dares mainstream comic fandom to disapprove. He doesn’t ask readers to like him as he struggles to stick a pitchfork in the adult demons born of his warped school days — he gambles on the truth instead.

“My bottom-line approach: You gotta know what I know,” said Head, now a youthful 63 with a mop of unruly silver curls, at his home in Brooklyn. “You gotta know what I feel like. What’s it like to experience sex abuse and what sexual behavior that may have grown out of that feels like. That’s the deal that’s made when someone picks up the book.”

Every great comic needs its evil villain. Head’s came in the form of UK-born “Sir” Lynch, who was eventually charged in a 103-count sexual abuse indictment for his sick crimes against young boys.

IT WAS GOTHIC — BUT IT WASN’T MAGICAL

Some readers might be momentarily disturbed by the cover art: It sparks a bizarro world sense memory of another legendary prep school: Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry. 

“I was aware of the books — but I didn’t so much get into the Harry Potter thing,” Head said. Obviously, no magic happened at Chartwell — but it did share a certain “gothic” Hogwarts’ vibe — chandeliers, high ceilings, otherworldly architecture befitting an idyllic mansion and estate named after Winston Churchill’s country home — that he wanted to recapture.

“Really, the only way I can put it is: I grew up in Madison … public schools were institutional settings and all the same no matter where you went,” Head recalled to The Post. On the other end of the spectrum was “an ominous castle in the woods, this boarding school was gothic, haunting, atmospheric, to my 13-year-old eyes. Chartwell Manor, I always felt, was begging for the comic book treatment,” he said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.

Glenn Head’s unflinching memoir opens with him as an adult struggling to deal with the psychological damage he suffered as a boy at the hands of “Sir” Lynch. The project was a cathartic pursuit of a “sliver of forgiveness.”

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Head suffered for years from substance abuse and sexual addiction he believes was caused by his time at Chartwell Manor.

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“Chartwell Manor” explores his time at the disgraced prep school — and his subsequent self-destructive sex, drugs and rock and roll era in the 1980s.

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When asked to describe his memoir, Head told The Post: “”This is an exciting, propulsive gothic memoir; a story of overcoming abuse, facing it, living life and accepting the scars of what happens to us and being able to move forward and not letting it wreck you.”

Fantagraphics

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However, legendary underground cartoonist Robert Crumb was unreserved in his praise: “This is a great graphic novel. I couldn’t put it down… Starkly honest, a powerful story…the level of merciless self examination…I was deeply impressed. Head has traveled a long way to get to this point. This is… well, okay, I’ll say it… A Masterpiece! Truly. Very few writers or artists ever reach this level of self-revealing truth. It’s good for the world.”

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Born in 1958 in Morristown, NJ, Head’s “bland, suburban” existence was shattered at 13 when he scored subpar marks in the 7th grade.

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Head described the prep school as “an ominous castle in the woods, this boarding school was gothic, haunting, atmospheric, to my 13-year-old eyes. Chartwell Manor, I always felt, was begging for the comic book treatment.”

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Every great comic needs its evil villain. Head’s came in the form of UK-born “Sir” Lynch, who was eventually charged in a 103-count sexual abuse indictment.

Fantagraphics

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Lynch eventually pleaded guilty in 1989, and served seven years of a 14-year sentence. After his release, he was later sentenced in 2007 to one year in jail for assaulting three men at a drug rehab, where he posed as a volunteer doctor doing hernia checks, genital exams and spankings. He died in 2011.

Fantagraphics

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Meanwhile, every great comic needs its evil villain. Head’s came in the form of sick “Sir” Lynch, a UK-born perv who was eventually charged in a 103-count sexual abuse indictment for robbing his young Chartwell charges of their innocence.

Little is known about his life before Chartwell, but “‘Sir’ was a larger than life figure: clownish, exuberant, florid in his speech patterns, grandiose — almost a parody of a boarding school headmaster,” Head said. “He was also a pathological liar and a serial abuser of children. Too criminal for words, he needed to be drawn!”

Headmaster "Sir" Terrence Michael Lynch in an undated photo. "Chartwell Manor" author-artist Glenn Head in 1972.
Headmaster “Sir” Terence Michael Lynch in an undated photo. Author-artist Glenn Head in 1972. Nearly 50 years later, Head’s art has appeared everywhere from the New York Times, Playboy and Sports Illustrated to the Wall Street Journal and the iconic underground paper Screw.
Jeff Anderson & Associates/courtesy the author

A DOCUMENTED TRAIL OF PERVERSION

Because of a vow of silence among students, many parents didn’t learn of Lynch’s sadistic abuse until after the disgraced school was shut down in 1984. Accusers testified about groped genitals under the guise of medical exams, creation and distribution of child pornography and “cuddling” after naked-buttock beatings, the latter an attempt to “comfort” his humiliated victims in a perverse ritual of emotional control, according to one student. 

Lynch eventually pleaded guilty in 1989, and served seven years of a 14-year sentence for molesting at least a dozen boys at Chartwell Manor. After his release, he got back to work. Lynch was sentenced in 2007 to one year in jail for assaulting three men between 2004 and 2005 at a drug and alcohol rehab in Morristown, where he posed as a volunteer doctor doing hernia checks, genital exams and spankings. Those adult victims received a $780,000 settlement — Chartwell students have yet to receive civil compensation.

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In heartbreaking detail, Head depicts attention-starved boys trying to survive at Chartwell Manor. In the early ’80s, accusers testified about “cuddling” after naked-buttock beatings, an attempt to “comfort” his humiliated victims in a perverse ritual of emotional control, according to one student.

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“[This is} material I believe had to be met head on,” Head has said. “Nothing in this book is invented, or exaggerated. It happened like this. To the very best of my ability I drew it just as it happened.”

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“Drawing Chartwell Manor and the truth of it became a matter of life and death to me. Without that truth, there’s nothing,” head told The Hollywood Reporter.

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After diving so deep into darkness, one might think Head was ready for some levity in his work. No way. “I’m not sure I’m really capable of lighter material. It sounds funny, but it’s just not really my thing,” he told The Post with a chuckle.

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Despite this apparent lack of sentimentality, Head does cop to one feelgood cliche: Art saved him.

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Lynch eventually pleaded guilty in 1989, and served seven years of a 14-year sentence. After his release, he was later sentenced in 2007 to one year in jail for assaulting three men at a drug rehab, where he posed as a volunteer doctor doing hernia checks, genital exams and spankings. He died in 2011.

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In 2011, the registered sex offender was charged with failing to notify police of a change of address. Lynch is believed to have died at 77 the same year in Parsippany.

Decades after Sir’s reign of terror and Head’s subsequent spiral into addictions depicted in his memoir, the artist-author is now married and a parent himself, to a 20-year-old daughter who hasn’t read the book — “but she knows she’s in it,” he told The Post. “She is sort of a very important figure in terms of my life taking a turn for the better.”

CIVIL JUSTICE POSSIBLE AS DEADLINE LOOMS

Self-destruction is in his past now but Head admitted there are emotional scars he’s still processing today. He knows he’s among the lucky ones. 

“I’ve been in touch with some alumni — and a lot of people I knew who were kids then committed suicide or are dead from drug overdoses. Others [got into] criminal things. A lot of that grew right out of that school. A great many students went through what I went through. Alcohol, drugs and sexual behavior followed that went part and parcel with this. I’m very lucky to have been clean and sober for some time.” 

Yes, Head has overcome a lot — but to reveal much more about how he got here would spoil what his peers and critics have hailed as an important book.

Meanwhile, the timing of the release of “Chartwell Manor” could shine a light on an ongoing push to bring compensation to survivors who were too traumatized to testify in the past.

Time is running out for victims to join those who’ve already filed claims against surviving Chartwell administrators accused of letting Lynch — and other accused faculty — cultivate a culture of abuse.

In May 2019, NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed the Victims’ Rights Bill into law, extending the statute of limitations window for child sexual abuse survivors to bring civil suits against those who hurt them.

However, time is running out for Chartwell Manor victims to join those who’ve already filed claims against surviving Chartwell administrators accused of letting Lynch — and other accused faculty — cultivate a culture of abuse.

“New Jersey law gives you an opportunity to seek justice and compensation, and more importantly, hold the abusers accountable and get your voice back,” said attorney Greg Gianfocaro, a state child victim advocate of three decades. “Claims must be filed by November 30. Hundreds of survivors have already come forward to make their voices heard. You are not alone.”

Survivors can confidentially consult with lawyers online or by calling 1-888-920-9849. (Note: Head told The Post it’s “amazing” that survivors are still seeking justice but he’s not affiliated with organized legal efforts.)

Glenn Head as a troubled 18-year-old in 1976.  He told the post he's on the fence about following the “Watchmen” or “Umbrella Academy” route into a film or streaming platform adaptation. “Never say never — but if I had seen a lot of movies that really did justice to graphic novel that was great, then I’d say yes. It’s a ‘great idea’ — but actually it’s kind of hard to make it work,” he told The Post. “If the offer was right and people who knew what they were doing were going to capture it well. There’s a real tendency to let everything get really watered down. It doesn’t do the art any favors.”
Glenn Head, seen here as a troubled 18-year-old in 1976, told The Post he’s conflicted about following the “Watchmen” or “Umbrella Academy” route into a film or streaming platform adaptation: “Never say never — but actually it’s kind of hard to do justice to a graphic novel. There’s a real tendency to let everything get watered down. It doesn’t do the art any favors. Maybe if the offer was right from people who knew what they were doing and were going to capture it well.”
Courtesy the author/Fantagraphics

GLENN DOESN’T HAVE THE LIGHT STUFF

After diving so deep into darkness, one might think Head was craving some levity in his work. No way.

“I’m not sure I’m really capable of lighter material. It sounds funny, but it’s just not really my thing,” he said with a chuckle. In addition to his award-winning contributions to alternative comic books and “comix” anthologies, Head’s art has appeared everywhere from the New York Times, Playboy and Sports Illustrated to the Wall Street Journal and the iconic underground paper Screw. However, the graphic novel format allows him to strive for something deeper within his panels.

“Not to make light of other material, but what I’m really fascinated by is human behavior and how it affects us, how it follows us,” he said. “I tried to give as much as I could in terms of honest characterization to both parents, Lynch, a pedophile; and the other kids I knew. I really wanted to flesh those things out with as much humanity as possible. Those are the things I strive for.”

As he recently told “The Virtual Memories Show” podcast: “My whole interest in comics and autobiography is to show the dirt that’s under everyone’s fingernails, to capture that and not look away from it.”

Despite this professed lack of sentimentality, Head does cop to one feel-good cliche: Art saved him.

“I’m really convinced it did, actually. For three years [in the ‘80s] at the School of Visual Arts, studying under Art Speigelman, I was a profoundly heavy drinker. But I learned a lot from him and it was really helpful to me,” the husband and dad told The Post. “One gets up to a lot of stuff in the 20 to 30 years — but studying comics held me in good stead. It’s something more than just an escape — it can save you. I think it really did.”

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