Council workers in Melbourne - a city supposedly friendly toward street art - have removed a piece by Banksy. Article in today's Age.
In a massive blow to fans of Melbourne's vibrant, CBD street-art scene, City of Melbourne workers have destroyed a little-known piece of stencil art left by world-renowned graffiti artist Banksy.
Local businesspeople were alerted to the mistake this morning, after the image of a parachute-wearing rat floating down the wall of a building behind the Forum Theatre in Hosier Lane was painted over by council workers as part of a maintenance program.
"Our cleaning contractors were instructed to clean the wall as part of their regular street cleaning schedule," City Of Melbourne CEO Kathy Alexander said.
"Acting under instructions to remove all graffiti and tagging from unapproved street art sites, our cleaning contractors last week cleaned Hosier Lane.
"There was no legal street art permit in place for the rat stencil believed to have been left by Banksy in Hosier Lane. There are currently five approved street art sites in Hosier Lane."
Ms Alexander said the piece was left in place despite being painted outside the authorised street art site because "we were aware it was believed to be Banksy's work.
"As the street art capital of Australia, we are aware of the popularity of Banksy's works and have made exceptions to preserve them in the past," she said.
Ms Alexander said "in hindsight" the council should have "acted sooner" to protect all known Banksy works.
The destruction of the stencil follows the loss of another Banksy work in 2008, when vandals tipped paint over a stencil near the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets, of an old-fashioned diver wearing a trenchcoat.
Banksy's works routinely sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars in galleries.
Seen a picture of it in the paper today,it's crap.
I have an idea, make a new stencil and spray it on again, nobody would ever know it was gone for a few days.
It's street art anyway, it's supposed to be temporary.
And now Banksy is selling his 'pieces' for 1000's of $'s to the likes of Brad Pitt. There ain't much 'edge' about Banksy anymore. The kids spraying the fences in my fair neighbourhood are more subversive than him.
Hey its street art anyway no one owns it.
Check out Moose's works on reverse grafiti - making art from mans polloution, he was out here a few weeks ago and did a job on some scum at moonee ponds.
This shit makes you think spray can art is for schoolkids.
Great stuff Simple Ben.
The URL is incorrect though: www.reversegraffitiproject.com (you missed the 'j')