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Lets not lie to ourselves, we’ve all thought, often talked about, doing it… Haven’t we?

One of the icons, standing to highlight the hypocrisy and ignorance of the Melbourne city council and its confused stance on Street art and graffiti has been capped.

The Banksy stencil opposite the police station on Flinders lane which the Melbourne City council had “protected” by a perspex sheet sitting a couple of inches off the wall was ceremoniously covered in silver paint this weekend and finished off with a “Banksy Woz Ere” tag, either by same or different person. Nice touch.

The perspex sheet was put up to “stop vandalism” of the stencil which the council has recently deemed valuable as a tourist attraction and land mark, no doubt thanks to the main steam media coverage on the collectability and value of Banksy’s work.

Ironically while proving to have had negligible protective value the perspex most likely motivated the capping.

Tale of a confused city.

  • Melbourne has introduced new harsh penalties for anyone found carrying spray paint that include jail time and astronomical fines.
  • It is also the same city which uses graffiti as a predominant theme in advertising. Lifting artwork by Phibs for its designs throughout the clichĂ© “loose yourself” tourism campaign.
  • Yet…. it’s the same city who’s tourism and major events minister Tim Holding attacked organizers of Disney Worlds “Mini-Melbourne” display for predominantly featuring work by Phibs and other Melbourne graffiti artists in recognition of the cities global reputation for innovative street art.
  • Melbourne council will go to lengths to “protect” a Banksy stencil because it has read some article about the value of his artwork.
  • Yet if any of the internationally recognised Melbourne street artists were caught putting up something similar they would be faced with such harsh punishments that you could pretty much rule their life as over.
  • But still, Melbourne funds “street art tours” throughout the city.


We’ll never know for sure, but I think these conflicting points and more such as the obvious futility of protecting street art, were going through the head of whoever capped this piece, no doubt as a direct message to the city council rather than as a critisism of Banksy’s artwork.

It’s a shame that our city is run by people of such myopic and vulgar tastes that they need the value of artwork or of an artist to be spelt out to them in big bold letters by a respected source from overseas before they can recognize it for themselves.

3 Responses to “BANKSY CAPPED”

  1. Not gonna lie, this made my day. Now if only CTCV capping Melbourne’s own caused such “outrage”…

  2. hmmm.. infront of the police station you say? .. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    wonder who could do such a dreadful thing.. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

  3. Great article, but I don’t think your any more likely to get a consistent approach from Melbourne City Council towards graf artists than you are from the artists towards the people and landowners of this city. Some want mainstream acceptance (and cash flow) others just do it for their art and/or to F people off.

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