Yet Another Banksy Mural Destroyed by Clueless Construction Workers
The nature of the medium makes it ephemeral and unpredictable.
Three stencils of rats by street artist Banksy have been destroyed by construction workers in Melbourne, and replaced with a new doorway inscribed with the words “Dream Big,” The Guardian reports. This brings the number of Banksy pieces destroyed in Melbourne’s inner city to five in only two years. The three stencils depicting rats were created in 2003.
What’s more, from 2010 through 2012, Banksy pieces all around Australia were destroyed by construction workers, accidentally wiped off by street cleaners, and even purposely vandalized.
Apart from these incidents Down Under, several of the artist’s valuable works have been damaged and vandalized in multiple other locations: In 2013, an image of a girl hugging a bomb on the side of a UK church was accidentally painted over. In 2014, a council in Essex painted over one of Banksy’s pieces it deemed to be “racist.” Also in 2013, London’s deputy mayor had a piece removed from central London to discourage graffiti.
A recent incident of attempted theft of a Banksy mural commenting on police violence against refugees led the piece to be covered up in London in order to prevent damage. In 2014, members of the Broad Plain Boys Club in Bristol removed a Banksy mural and placed it in their club to prevent vandalism and apparently also to profit from the piece.
With this history of vandalism, carelessness, and even theft, this latest destruction in Melbourne unfortunately comes as no surprise. The City of Melbourne claims that although it tries to preserve Melbourne’s lively street art scene, the nature of the medium makes it ephemeral and unpredictable.
Previously, Melbourne’s artistic circles chose to keep quiet about the location of Banksy murals around the city in an attempt to keep them protected and avoid vandalism. After this latest incident however, people are starting to speak out about the care of these artworks in hopes to prevent such damage in the future,
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