Banksy Confirms Latest Piece at Reading Prison
News / Banksy

Banksy Confirms Latest Piece at Reading Prison

4 Mar 2021

After a few days of intense speculation, Banksy has confirmed he is behind a mural that appeared on the wall of Reading Prison. The new piece depicts a prisoner, possibly Oscar Wilde, escaping over the wall using a rope made of bedsheets and tied to a typewriter. It comes as campaigners continue to lobby for the former jail to be turned into an arts centre rather than being sold for housing.

Banksy claimed the piece as his own though a video posted to his website and Instagram. The short clip, captioned Create Escape, takes us behind the scenes of the work's creation and is narrated by none other than the legendary Bob Ross. Watch below:

Reading prison famously housed Oscar Wilde between 1895 and 1897 and was immortalised by his poem Ballad of Reading Gaol during his stay, which reflected on the brutality of the Victorian penal system. Wilde was convicted after his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas was exposed.

The prison was closed down in 2013 and put up for sale in 2019. However, a deal to sell the building to developers fell through last year and Reading council has since said it hoped to turn it into an arts complex.

Hollywood actors Sir Kenneth Branagh, Natalie Dormer and Dame Judi Dench have lent their support to the campaign.

Crowds ave been gathering since the mural was first spotted

Crowds ave been gathering since the mural was first spotted

Sky News

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