Banksy pledges work to help save ‘LGBT cultural heritage site’

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12/06/2021

A stencil used by artist Bansky to paint the side of a former jail – described as an ‘LGBT cultural heritage site’ – is to go up for sale, with proceeds supporting the building’s transformation into an arts centre. The stencil was used by the anonymous artist in March to create a piece which depicts a prisoner escaping on a rope of sheets tied to a typewriter. The stencil is currently on show at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery as part of the Grayson’s Art Club exhibition, where it is credited as coming ‘from the collection of Reading Council’. The jail, which has been derelict since 2013, once held Oscar Wilde on charges of ‘gross indecency’. After his release, Wilde wrote about the building in a poem titled ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’.

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