Only 5 original Banksy works remain in Melbourne after latest construction demolition
With the rise of the property boom and construction works within Melbourne, further works by Banksy have been demolished, leaving only 5 pieces of original artwork standing.
The large stencils of rats, created by Banksy in 2003 and situated off Flinders Lane, have recently been demolished as a result of construction workers installing a new door on ACDC Lane.
A spokeswoman from the City of Melbourne told Fairfax Media that the city tries to “preserve legal street art murals where possible” but “the very nature of street art is that it is temporary, ephemeral and forever changing”. Since 2010, construction workers have been notorious for demolishing Banksy works.
Owner of street art tour company Melbournewalks.com Meyer Eidelson said to Fairfax Media that the demolished art had been “mindlessly loaded into a skip”. Many locals who are aware of the whereabouts of Banksy works often keep quiet to ensure the remaining works do not get destroyed by vandals, with Eidelson stating: “Melbourne is the street art capital of Australia and we see this art as vital to the city’s vibrancy”.
Banksy’s works are increasingly being targeted by vandals, not solely in Melbourne. In 2013, London removed a piece of art undertaken by Banksy, with the Deputy Mayor stating that to allow it to remain would be indirectly promoting graffiti within the area. In 2014, an Essex council also removed a piece of art by Banksy, claiming it to be racist.
Read the July 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.