Two stenciled murals in Melbourne, Australia painted by the street artist Banksy were covered up an anonymous individual, according to the Huffington Post.
One of the lost works featured a girl hugging a bomb while the other was of Bansky’s iconic rat, which had already been heavily damaged.
Bansky’s murals and two other works by Keith Haring and Peat Wollaeger were on a church wall that was painted over by the reported father-in-law of the church’s owner. The Post reports:
The owner of the church spoke to The Age, claiming that a city-wide crackdown on graffiti leading up the 2006 Commonwealth games is really to blame for the disappearance of coveted street art over the years. ”I understand that the public is interested in Banksy, but it is important to note that there were a range of significant pieces from well-known artists on the wall as well — some had remained until 2012, but most had been lost through natural attrition,” he explained.
A local street art expert named Fletcher Andersen commented on the Fitzroy white-washing as well, stating: “I don’t understand the furore over Banksy’s works, when there’s a lot of local artists doing great stuff and exactly the same thing happens to them.”
Both are fair points that bring attention to Melbourne’s general attitude to street art. “Melbourne became a hub of stenciling for reasons no one seems particularly able to explain,” wrote Banksy himself, in an article for The Guardian back in 2006. “Then came the Commonwealth games and a redoubling of the city’s efforts to rid itself of the evil graffiti menace.”