A bathroom pipe has destroyed a piece by the elusive street artist Banksy valued at $50,000.
An Australian builder working on a cafe drilled through a wall, piercing “The Parachuting Rat,” which was painted in a Melbourne suburb about 15 years ago.
Other street artists had wrapped graffiti around the wall careful to preserve the stencil depicting a rat descending by parachute that had attracted tourists and boosted business in the area.
This is the third Banksy piece destroyed in the Australian city in two years: In 2010, contractors painted over a piece; vandals destroyed another.
In the Northern Hemisphere, a work believed to be by Banksy popped up this week on a London street. The graffiti shows a barefoot boy wearing a cap backwards and kneeling at a sewing machine.
And closer to the West Coast, a Banksy work was salvaged from the industrial ruins of a crumbling Detroit auto plant and put on display in a jail-turned-art gallery.
Artists from Detroit’s 555 Gallery who removed the mural -- wall and all -- were questioned by the art community on whether a piece of street art should be lifted from its intended locale.