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Banksy, is That You? New Reading Prison-style Mural Appears, This Time on UK Bridge

People observe a mural that is similar to the recent one done by Banksy on an abandoned prison, in Reading, Britain. (Credit: REUTERS)

People observe a mural that is similar to the recent one done by Banksy on an abandoned prison, in Reading, Britain. (Credit: REUTERS)

The new wall art that appeared on Reading Bridge is similar to the typewriter that featured in the Banksy mural that was drawn on Reading Prison.

Yet another Banksy-styled mural has appeared on a building in Reading after the last one was defaced earlier this week by unknown people and sprayed upon with the name of the artist’s old rival King Robbo. The new wall art that appeared on Reading Bridge is similar to the typewriter that featured in the mural that was drawn on Reading Prison. The Reading prison mural was that of a prisoner during mid-escape, dangling on a rope made out of bedcovers tied to a typewriter, possibly resembling Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, who was famously housed in the former prison. However, the wall art was sprayed over and the words ‘Team Robbo’ sprayed on the lower side of the mural, covering the typewriter.

Banksy and the late street artist King Robbo had a long standing feud spanning across the 1990s and early 2000s.

The new mural of the typewriter seems to have appeared overnight between March 17 and 18. It was painted on the part of the bridge near Christchurch Meadows. A local woman who lives nearby was the one who had spotted the painting while taking a walk along river Thames, Daily Mail reported.

A temporary fence has been erected around Banksy’s Reading Prison mural.

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The duo had ended up clashing many times, adding and removing elements from the other’s art pieces. ‘King Robbo’, born John Robertson was an English underground graffiti artist and had a long standing feud with Banksy. He died in 2014 after sustaining head injuries in an accident. The duo’s rivalry was also documented in a televised show called Graffiti Wars for Channel 4.

It had started back in 2009 when one of Robbo’s last surviving wall art pieces at the Regent’s Canal in Camden was painted over by Banksy, which the former had created in 1985. However after Robbo suffered a major accident and was left comatose in 2011, Banksy had painted over the Camden mural in black and white, replicating Robbo’s piece and adding a crown and a can of spray paint with a hazard symbol of a flame as a mark of tribute to Robbo.

It was later painted over like the original one as done by other members of Team Robbo. Banksy had also included an art piece in honour of Robbo in his Dismaland exhibition in 2015 after the latter death.

first published:March 19, 2021, 14:36 IST