Mayor of Melbourne welcomes Banksy exhibition

Next month, Melbourne will play host to Australia’s largest ever exhibition of works by the elusive British street artist Banksy, it has been revealed.
Mayor of the city Robert Doyle has welcomed the exciting display that will open at The Paddock in Melbourne’s Federation Square on October 7th, and will run for over three months, before coming to an end in the new year.
The exhibition comes just a couple of months after original pieces by Banksy were removed by construction workers.
Titled ‘The Art of Banksy’, this exhibition will be different from previous displays in Istanbul and the Netherlands as it will have over 80 works on show, including some of Banksy’s most famous pieces like Flag Wall, Girl with Balloon and Laugh Now.
A number of artworks are from Banksy’s former manager and independent gallery owner, Steve Lazarides, who put the exhibition together with no involvement from the street artist.
The exhibition will be placed at the heart of culture in Melbourne, with works by other street artists, food trucks and live entertainment surrounding the display. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance, before visiting the venue.
Mr Lazarides released a statement that revealed that 40 other private collectors has also contributed pieces to the “one-off” event in Australia.
“Never will you be able to see this amount of work in one place again,” he said.
“Once the show is over, the artwork will dissipate back to the other 40 collectors around the world and the likelihood of them being brought together again in the future is very slim.”
According to the mayor, the upcoming exhibition was a “major coup” for the city, a metropolis that is known across the world for its street work, featuring original works by Banksy.
However, three stencil artworks by Banksy that were painted on the walls of an inner-city laneway in 2003 were accidentally destroyed by construction workers earlier this year.
In 2008, Mr Lazarides and Banksy parted ways due to unexplained circumstances after working together for nearly a decade. Two years later, the former manager told Vanity Fair that he and the street artist hadn’t been in contact for a long time and he had no idea where he was.
He told the magazine: “It was an amazing ride and I wouldn’t be here without it, but I don’t necessarily miss it.” Last year, Mr Lazarides claimed that he had seen Banksy at a Massive Attack gig but had kept a healthy distance away, reports the Independent.
It is believed that the relationship between the pair become strained by Mr Lazarides’ ongoing promotion of his former talent’s work. This was further put in jeopardy in 2014, after the former manager put together a retrospective of Banksy’s work at Sotheby’s without his authorisation.