A group of stencils by renowned underground street artist Banksy in AC/DC Lane has been damaged during construction works.
The stencils are believed to be the biggest single grouping of works in the city centre by the anonymous British artist, who painted them during a visit to Melbourne in 2003. The stencils depicted a rodent parachuting, two rats talking and another of a rat. They were destroyed when a doorway in Melbourne's AC/DC Lane was knocked down to be replaced with a new entrance.
The damage was discovered by Mr Eidelson, 65, who runs tour company Melbourne Walks. He said that he discovered the loss about a week ago. He believed it resulted from construction of a doorway connected to a new business at 21 AC/DC Lane. Meyer Eidelson said the rubble from the doorway was 'mindlessly' thrown into a rubbish skip.
The latest blow adds to a sorry damage sheet for Banksy works in Melbourne. In 2014, two stencils located further up AC/DC Lane were destroyed, while two more were lost in a house-painting bungle in Fitzroy in 2013. In 2010, an image of a rat on a building in the CBD's Hosier Lane was removed by council cleaners.
Banksy's artwork frequently fetches hundreds of thousands of dollars, with some people known to remove sections of stenciled walls.