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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Melbourne's Hosier Lane Has Been Paint-Bombed by a Group of Masked Artists

The unknown artists used paint-filled fire extinguishers to cover up many of the laneway's existing artworks
By Libby Curran
February 10, 2020
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Melbourne's Hosier Lane Has Been Paint-Bombed by a Group of Masked Artists

The unknown artists used paint-filled fire extinguishers to cover up many of the laneway's existing artworks
By Libby Curran
February 10, 2020
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One of Melbourne's most famous tourist attractions has been given an unauthorised makeover — and it's left plenty of people fuming. A group of masked artists descended on the street art-filled stretch of Hosier Lane over the weekend, dousing the walls with paint and covering up a good chunk of its existing artworks.

Bystanders caught Saturday night's incident on camera and have shared it across social media. Footage shows a crew of people with their faces covered spraying the legendary laneway using paint-filled fire extinguishers. Their efforts look to have been concentrated up the northern end of Hosier Lane, destroying recent murals like the one of comedian Celeste Barber and another featuring Lizzo outside the Culture Kings store.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp confirmed the City of Melbourne was aware of the incident and has reported it to Victoria Police, saying in a statement, "this is unacceptable and is not in keeping with the spirit of Hosier Lane". As well as covering artworks, the "vandals" left significant paint mess on the pavement and cobblestones, which had to be cleaned today by council contractors.

While Mayor Capp condemned the group's actions, she also went on to say that "the very nature of street art is that it is temporary, ephemeral and forever changing." It's a sentiment that seems to be shared by supporters of the unknown artists and many in the wider street art community, who are questioning the growing commercialisation of Hosier Lane's art precinct. Advocates have taken to social media to give this recent refresh a thumbs up, reminding punters that essentially, no street art is ever meant to stick around forever.

Published on February 10, 2020 by Libby Curran

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