A mural by street artist Banksy which was painted on the side of Reading prison has been defaced overnight
The artwork, which shows an inmate escaping lockdown, appeared earlier this month. But residents in Reading today woke up to see 'Team Robbo' graffiti had been added beneath it.
Reacting to the images this morning, Reading Borough Council Leader Jason Brock said:
“This is obviously hugely disappointing following the initial excitement in Reading recently when Banksy’s artwork appeared. How anyone can somehow think this is acceptable is completely beyond me, even if this is an extension of a historic feud, as is being suggested. There is understandable anger across the town today.
“The vacant Reading Goal site, including the perimeter wall which Banksy’s artwork is on, is private land owned by the Ministry of Justice.
“When the original artwork appeared, the Council made contact with the Ministry of Justice to ask it to make suitable arrangements to protect the image. We will now be contacting them again to see what action it intends to take. I've seen many people supporting the idea of restoring the artwork, which I also back in principle. As long as the site remains in the Ministry of Justice's ownership, however, they would need to take the lead in facilitating this.”
The news comes the day after Reading Borough Council submitted a formal bid to the Ministry of Justice for the vacant Reading Goal site, which has been empty and unused since December 2013.