Contract Cleaners in Australia have removed a piece of graffiti art by the mysterious street artist Banksy.
Council cleaners in the city of Melbourne contracted by local authorities removed the artwork, which is thought to be worth tens of thousands of pounds, after they were instructed to paint over all unapproved street art in the area.
The stencil of a rodent descending on a parachute on the wall of a building behind the Forum Theatre in Hosier Lane is believed to be the only remaining artwork left by the British artist during his stint in Melbourne in 2003.
Kathy Alexander, of Melbourne Council, said the contract cleaners knew the rat stencil was a Banksy original and it was removed because it was surrounded by graffiti tags.
“The removal of the rat stencil was not an error on the cleaners’ behalf as they were under instruction to clean all unapproved areas and were not made aware of the significance of the artwork,” she said.
Banksy has previously stated that the street art in Melbourne is “arguably Australia’s most significant contribution to the arts since they stole all the Aborigines’ pencils”.
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Posted by Marta Boshnakova