In protest of the strict branding regulations for the upcoming London Olympics, 25 street artists known collectively as Brandalism have reclaimed more than 30 existing billboards around the U.K., postering over the existing content with their own ad busts:
Installed over five days in one continuous road trip that has covered the length of the country, the Brandalism crew have hit 33 spots in 5 cities. Edited and developed on the fly, this project sees the culmination of 8 months work and we will be adding more content to the site after we get some serious sleep, updates will follow daily… Inspired by a little known writer Sean Tejaratchi, the infamous British street artist Banksy plagiarized and popularized the Brandalism term in his latest book -- Wall & Piece. It is from here that we are picking up where they both left off with the Brandalism project by putting words into action with the world's first international, collaborative subvertising project.
Banksy's famous Parachuting Rat, located on a wall in the Melbourne, Australia suburb of Prahran, has been destroyed by builders doing drilling work for a café.
Local business owners were upset by the needless demolition of the piece by workers who apparently didn't realize what they were destroying. The wall did contain other graffiti, but area taggers had avoided painting over the Banksy.
"Had it been 20cm higher or 20cm to the side this would never have happened," neighboring business owner Jacqui Vidal told the Stonnington Leader, "This should have been avoided. It's not a big piece, but it is one of the few remaining Banksys in Melbourne."
The Rat was destroyed once before by cleaners who painted over it during a 2010 anti-graffiti campaign, but was later restored.
There is some good news, though: a possible new Banksy piece -- showing an Asian boy hunched over a sewing machine and a Union flag -- has appeared on the wall of a Poundland shop in London. It has yet to be confirmed as authentic on the artist's website.
Chances are, the location of the work is significant: In 2010, Poundland launched an investigation after it was discovered that a 7-year-old boy was working 100 hours a week in an Indian sweatshop, producing items for the store. A spokeswoman said at the time: "Poundland does not tolerate child labor under any circumstances and will not work with companies that employ children."