Melbourne loses Banksy
Who's saying what
He is a small, faceless man and was supposedly well protected with apiece of perspex plastic, but famous laneway graffiti artwork 'Banksy'slittle diver' has been destroyed by vandals.
It is believedthe less-than-one-metre-tall grey figure, wearing a duffle coat anddiving mask, was stencilled in 2003 when the famous British graffitiartist known just as Banksy visited Melbourne.
Thelittle diver lives on a wall, surrounded by rats and rubbish, on theback of the Nicholas Building on the corner of Swanston Street andFlinders Lane.
A piece of screwed-in plastic,paid for by the building's owners, has protected him from the elementsand damage since April this year.
But someone has ruinedthe iconic little diver, by tipping silver paint behind the plasticprotector and tagging 'Banksy woz ere' on the plastic, potentiallyruining the artwork forever.
Earlier this year, the littlediver's potential value went up when another Banksy artwork on a Londonwall was sold for £208,000 ($A472,528) on an eBay auction.
Banksy, the elusive street artist, keeps his identity secret and hardly ever gives media interviews.
Fans and buyers of his works include Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Christina Aguilera.-Janae Houghton