A French artist who daubed a dripping, black Chanel logo on the outer wall of Chater House above the window of a Giorgio Armani boutique disagreed with prosecutors who said that part of the facade must be replaced at a cost of HK$6.7 million. Christophe Schwarz, who goes by the name Zevs, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage before acting Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai in Eastern Court yesterday. A professional cleaner hired by Giorgio Armani Hong Kong to remove the Chanel logo was unable to wash it off, prosecutors told the court. The affected facade must be replaced at an estimated cost of HK$6,746,000. The 31-year-old graffiti artist expressed surprise at the cost and called it 'surrealistic'. He had taken special care to use children's water-based paint that was easy to wash off. He had painted on more delicate surfaces in other cities and been able to remove his works, he said. The court will tomorrow hear a police officer, an appraiser and a cleaner give evidence on the damage. He claimed he had never faced charges for his artwork, but said he created his latest logo believing there was a 50-50 chance of being caught because of its prominent location. At about 3am on Monday, a taxi driver saw a man in a yellow raincoat and a hat painting a Chanel logo on an outer wall of Chater House before leaving in a light-goods vehicle, the court was told. Police stopped the vehicle and found plastic bottles containing black paint, a hat, a yellow raincoat and gloves, a six-metre ladder and a luggage trolley inside the vehicle. They later found Zevs at a gallery. Zevs admitted responsibility for the logo and said he had not told the driver and a photographer who accompanied him, and whom police also arrested, about his plan. Police later released the driver and the photographer because of insufficient evidence. Zevs was commissioned to visit Hong Kong for an exhibition, which opens today at Art Statements Gallery in Central. He denied Monday's act was a pre-show publicity stunt. The artist - known for 'liquidating' famous logos by reproducing them in dripping paint - said outside court that he did the Chanel logo because he wanted to create artwork to reflect the war of brands. He said he had nothing against Armani and chose the Chater House location because it was a good place to play with logos and for its high visibility. He wanted people passing by later that morning on their way to work to take notice. Zevs said he wore a raincoat and hat to protect himself from the rain and because he saw himself as a worker on the street. He chose yellow to be conspicuous. 'I preferred to do it visibly, not hidden in the dark.' Art Statements owner Dominique Perregaux said he was sorry for the incident and no malice was intended. He and Zevs were contacting experts in Europe to ask what could be used to clean the sandstone facade. Zevs has also offered to help the store clean the facade. The logo was not part of his commission with Art Statements.