A street sculpture made of dockless hire bicycles installed in a Melbourne backstreet will be removed within days.
Installed in a laneway in the inner suburb of Fitzroy, the work features an arch of the controversial bikes painted in rainbow colours.
Bikeshare company oBike said it would send an operations team to remove the artwork.
A spokesperson for oBike Australia, Chethan Rangaswamy, said the bikes had not been hired for the sculpture.
“It is supposedly claimed to be done by Mr Banksy himself, but we are not sure,” Mr Rangaswamy told ABC Radio.
Mr Rangaswamy said his company did not encourage the use of its hire bikes in artworks.
“It is definitely not advisable,” he said.
Sculpture ‘in the wrong place’
The City of Yarra, which covers Fitzroy, said it would remove the installation if the company had not collected it within 24 hours.
Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip councils recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with oBike after bicycles from the scheme were found cluttering footpaths, placed in trees and dumped in the Yarra River.
Yarra Council Mayor Amanda Stone said while the MOU did not include the use of the bikes as street art, oBike were expected to be aware of the whereabouts of their bikes at all times and to ensure they were distributed and placed appropriately.
Councillor Stone said the sculpture could not remain in place because the bicycles were “in the wrong place”.
“The bikes are actually against the building line,” she said.
“One of our expectations is that building lines are kept free, because that’s how people with limited visibility negotiate their way around the street.”
Cr Stone said it appeared someone had built the rainbow of oBikes as a political statement.