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Create vs destroy

This caught my attention today. A builder making space for some pipes ruined a Banksy stencil. This has been greeted with horror by many, and I find the response intriguing. After all, stencils by their very nature are designed to be reproducable. I’m sure it had a lot of sentimental value, after all, Banksy is pretty famous. Prahran is not so much.

As the subject of not just local and national news, but picked up by international reports too, I can’t quite understand the fuss. The work seems designed to be transitory. Murals and frescos have been wrecked time and time again. Permanence is not their hall mark.

The article notes that the builders probably didn’t have any idea of what they’d done, quoting one local:

They wouldn’t even know that that’s a $50,000 piece of art they’ve just sawed through, possibly even more…

I think the builders probably knew very well what they were doing — they were putting pipes in. It looks to me like they accomplished that particular mission quite well. There are definitely pipes. They just happen to punch right through the middle of the rat. Maybe they enhanced the piece, giving it a new and functional aspect.

Another person remarked that Banksy himself probably wouldn’t care. So why should anyone else?


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