Melbourne's street art gets heritage review
Date: 27 May 2010
Melbourne's world renowned street art will be assessed for its unique heritage value, Planning Minister Justin Madden announced today.
Mr Madden said he had asked Heritage Victoria to undertake a study, assessing the heritage value of culturally significant street art in Melbourne, as well as identifying key street art areas.
The Heritage Council of Victoria will then provide the Planning Minister with advice on how Melbourne's street art can be appropriately recognised and catalogued.
"Melbourne has a strong tradition of street art in its central laneways and at key locations across the city," Mr Madden said.
"They are a popular draw cards for people visiting the city and places like Hosier Lane are well known internationally.
"The deliberate destruction of British street arts Banksy's work the 'Little Diver' in Cocker Alley and the accidental removal of another stencil work shows that we must look at what can be done to preserve this important part of our artistic and cultural heritage."
Mr Madden said the National Trust had campaigned on the need to recognise street art and had previously identified culturally significant street art such as the Keith Haring mural in Collingwood.
This mural, dating from 1984, was subsequently included around the Victorian Heritage Register by the Heritage Council in 2004.
"Street art is very different from graffiti or 'tagging' and is actually one of the most effective deterrents of vandalism," Mr Madden said.
"Heritage is more than bricks and mortar. The public now values a wider range of cultural heritage including neon signs such as the Skipping Girl and CSIRAC, the world's oldest existing programmable electronic computer."
Minister for the Arts Peter Batchelor said the cultural value of street art was recognised by art curators who now exhibit works by leading street artists.
"Lonely Planet voted the street art of Melbourne as one of the nation's most popular cultural attractions," Mr Batchelor said.
"By its very nature, street art is ephemeral, ever changing and sometimes controversial. We need to assess its value and work out how best to recognise street art's contribution to Victoria."