Muddle-headed, art-hating officials in Melbourne have issued a grovelling apology after scrubbing a million-dollar Banksy artwork from a city wall. Woops.

The city claims to encourage street art and renowned Brit artist Banksy had created several murals during a visit in 2003.

However, last week a crew was sent to clean up a downtown laneway which had been tagged by gangs. Unfortunately the Bansky piece – a stencil of a rat with a parachute – got the same treatment.

It’s not like the Poms have been any more respectful of their countryman’s offerings though. In Britain, Banksy’s work is often defaced by vandals and has been painted over by some local councils, even though his pieces have sold for more than £1 million at auction.

What do you reckon about Banksy – pioneering artist or over-hyped vandal? Comments below please!