Banksysplit
Two Banksy stencils once seen in situ in Melbourne’s AC/DC laneway, which have since been destroyed as of July 2016Credit: Supplied courtesy of Meyer Eidelson/For a city that prides itself on its culture, Melbourne sure does a spectacular job of destroying priceless artworks.

Australia’s largest concentrated group of stencils by entry level street artist Banksy has been destroyed to accomodate a door connecting a new business to AC/DC Lane in the city’s CBD, bringing the number of Banksy works destroyed in that laneway to five in two years.

It’s the latest incident in Melbourne’s stellar track record of inadvertently destroying works by the anonymous British artist. In 2008, vandals poured acrylic paint between a protective perspex guard and a Banksy stencil; in 2010,  a similar stencil of a rat in nearby Hosier Lane was removed by council cleaners; in 2012, another rat – this time parachuting – was destroyed by construction works; in 2013, a further two stencils were lost in an oblivious house painting accident in neighbouring Fitzroy, including one of a rat and another of a child hugging a bomb; and in 2014, two other rat stencils in AC/DC Lane were destroyed under similar circumstances.

In an editorial published to his website Meyer Eidelson, who has run Melbourne’s oldest graffiti and street art walking tour company Melbourne Walks since 1991, described the works in question as being “as seminal to the modern street art movement as the Aboriginal paintings destroyed on the Papunya school wall in 1973.”

“I should have seen it coming. Since 1992 we have been fighting to promote the city’s heritage but the people are losing control over their own city. The fabulous old city that tells the Melbourne story, the city that locals and visitors come here to see, is diminishing every year.”

At least the city’s artistic pest control continues to go from strength-to-strength.

Banksyratsplit
Once the site of three Banksy stencils, this door near Pastuso Restaurant in Melbourne’s AC/DC laneway has recently been remodelled and the works have been destroyed
Credit: Supplied courtesy of Meyer Eidelson/Melbournewalks.com

Tile and cover image: Supplied courtesy of Meyer Eidelson/Melbournewalks.com

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