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Academy Award Nominee GRAFFITI Bombs L.A.

2/16/2011 7:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

A legendary and mysterious graffiti artist -- currently nominated for an Oscar -- has left his mark on the Sunset Strip ... tagging a billboard across the street from the Director's Guild of America.

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The artist known as Banksy -- whose documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" is nominated for an Academy Award -- is taking credit for a Mickey Mouse inspired piece he managed to stealthily paint sometime in the past few nights ... without getting caught.  

The billboard sits above one of the most famous gas stations on the strip -- Norm's 76 -- which has been frequented by huge stars like Travolta, Stallone and Vinnie Jones.

Norm's son -- who works at the station -- tells us fans of Banksy have been stopping by all day to admire the work.

021611_banksy_videoAnd employees suspect one of the fans who jumped on the roof of the gas station to snap a photo ... may have been the artist himself.

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