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Banksy takes credit for work at Oscar Wilde jail


Agence France-Presse

London, United Kingdom  /  Fri, March 5, 2021  /  05:59 pm
 Banksy takes credit for work at Oscar Wilde jail

In this file photo taken on March 02, 2021 Members of the public pause to look at an artwork by street artist Banksy on the side of Reading Prison in Reading, west of London. (Agence France Presse/Ben Stansall)

Street artist Banksy on Thursday claimed responsibility for a painting on the wall of a former British prison that once held playwright Oscar Wilde.

The artwork shows a prisoner escaping on a rope made of bedsheets tied to a typewriter.

The elusive artist confirmed he was responsible in a video posted on his Instagram account.

The footage shows the artist carrying out the painting, and parodies the cult instructional videos of late US artist Bob Ross.

It opens with a clip of Ross saying: "Hello, I'm Bob Ross. I'd like to welcome you to The Joy Of Painting.

"Got all your materials out, ready to do a fantastic painting with me? Good."


A post shared by Banksy (@banksy)

The action then switches to Banksy as he executes his work, while a soundtrack of friendly advice from Ross plays over the top.

Reading Prison closed to prisoners in 2013 and is best known for housing Wilde during his two-year sentence of hard labour for "gross indecency".

His final work "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" made the case for prison reform.

The Ministry of Justice, the listed building's owner, is set to decide this month whether to turn into an arts venue.

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