Posted by: Brad | 14 December 2008

Oh Noes, Banksy

I hope this is the only bad news I have to read about Melbourne while I’m gone:

HE IS a small, faceless man and was supposedly well protected with a piece of perspex plastic, but famous laneway graffiti artwork ‘Banksy’s little diver’ has been destroyed by vandals.

It is believed the less-than-one-metre-tall grey figure, wearing a duffle coat and diving mask, was stencilled in 2003 when the famous British graffiti artist known just as Banksy visited Melbourne.

The little diver lives on a wall, surrounded by rats and rubbish, on the back of the Nicholas Building on the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Lane.

A piece of screwed-in plastic, paid for by the building’s owners, has protected him from the elements and damage since April this year.

But someone has ruined the iconic little diver, by tipping silver paint behind the plastic protector and tagging ‘Banksy woz ere’ on the plastic, potentially ruining the artwork forever.

Maybe it’s no big deal – Doyle probably would’ve wanted it scrubbed from the wall anyway.

From here.



  1. I, like you, was a little dismayed by this, but chatting to the cool lecturer at uni (the guy at our housewarming Brad?) made me feel much better. In fact, he totally turned the table for me.

    He said that that art was done for everyone to enjoy, and for no one to own, steal, or place ownership on. He also said that street art is supposed to be ephemeral, which totally contradicts placing perspex in front of it to protect it! Doing that – in retrospect – just seems stupid.

    Not to mention the fine and possible jail time that the Melbourne City Council would have given him had he been caught doing it?

    Anyway, hope that makes you feel better about it.

  2. It does indeed. I feel a lot better about it, actually – that’s a damn good point.

    It was a little silly of me to get so annoyed about it, and you’re right – the perspex is completely counterposed to the (ephemeral, context-rich, interactive) whole point of street art. I shouldn’t jump to the simplest conclusion.

    Interestingly, I stumbled across this blog post just after I saw your comment, Kenneth:

    That post is written by a Melbourne academic – maybe your lecturer moonlights in some other non-chiro academic disciplines? :D

  3. it’s a far better take on things than what was first thought….

    yay for smart(er) people than us….. :D

  4. Hi there Brad and Kenny

    Thanks for your kind words about my post!

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