Melbourne draws up graffiti protection plan

Street graffiti in central Melbourne, including paintings by the British artist Banksy, could be given national heritage status by the Australian National Trust.

Artwork in the city's narrow lanes has been described by Banksy as "arguably Australia's most significant contribution to the arts since they stole all the Aborigines' pencils". However, some residents have attacked the plan, claiming it would encourage vandalism. Others have suggested that graffiti is ephemeral and should not be protected. One artist, Andrew Mac, said: "[Graffiti] is not meant to last. It lasts purely as long as the weather."