Bondi mural defaced

On a sparkling winter's day, Bondi Beach suddenly had a new tourist attraction - a controversial mural protesting the country's treatment of asylum seekers that had been defaced with white paint.

And Sydney street artist Luke Cornish, who was being compared to Britain's subversive Banksy for a painting on the concrete promenade that featured 24 Australian Border Force officers to represent detainees who had committed suicide, was considering a reprisal.

"I'm used to my artworks on the street being painted over," he said. "The thing that amazes me the most is that it lasted longer than two days."

But he was dismayed that the controversy had distracted attention from the treatment of detainees, particularly claims the mural had upset children.

"If someone's three-year-old daughter doesn't like looking at a painting with someone with guns, and that's such an issue that you take it to council, think about children in Australian detention centres whose teeth are rotting," he said.

"We're talking about traumatised children. Get your priorities straight."

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