folks live in secret apartment they built inside of a mall

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Eight artists snuck into the depths of Providence Place mall and built a secret studio apartment in which they stayed, on and off, for nearly four years until mall security finally caught their leader last week.

The story of their audacious stunt — they call it performance art — spilled out in District Court, after the leader, Michael J. Townsend, 36, of Providence, was arrested. He pleaded no contest to a criminal charge of trespassing.

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