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By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO - For the last three-and-a-half months the building on the corner of Rua Garcia d’Avila and Visconde de Pirajá – an area of prime commercial real estate on Ipanema’s main shopping street – has been something of an eyesore.

Since the beginning of January renovations have been in progress following a blaze on December 13th last year which gutted the building that had housed a branch of Kikarnes (a well-known Ipanema convenience store) and a small ‘sapateria,’ or shoe-maker’s kiosk. “After the fire, I bought . . .

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