Debate was raised in Melbourne a few months ago, when a prized piece of Banksy graffiti was treated as just that – a piece of graffiti – and removed in a routine clean-up.
Banksy, whose real identity is unknown, famously uses stencil art to deliver many politically motivated messages. His website describes him as a “British street artist with an international reputation”.
Melbourne streets are ripe with street art, which (most) locals agree is important to the city’s identity.
Like many before him (or her), Banksy chose to visit Melbourne because of its laneway charm, underground mystery and artistic freedom.
Sadly the local government’s anti-graffiti stance meant the tribute in Hosier Lane is no longer – for now all you can see is a painted wall.
Here are some of Banky’s famous art work across the world: