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Entertainment & Arts

Builder in Australia drills through $50,000 Banksy piece

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.

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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.

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