A NEW verse has been added to the Ballad of Reading Gaol, thanks to a mystery artist’s work.
Overnight, art appeared on the wall of the Reading landmark and it has been attracting a steady stream of visitors throughout the day.
It features a prisoner escaping, via a traditional rope ladder made of bedsheets.
In a nod to the gaol’s most famous inmate, this is weighted by a typewriter.
The work is thought to have been created by guerilla artist Banksy, whose art is highly sought after and well respected across the country.
It has been welcomed by Reading East MP Matt Rodda, who is one of the leading lights of a campaign to see the site, which has been empty for nearly a decade, turned into an arts and heritage centre.
He has secured a number of celebrity endorsements including Sir Kenneth Branagh, who is currently portraying prime minister Boris Johnson for a new Sky film, and Dame Judi Dench.
But this latest endorsement, if it is by the famous artist, is perhaps the most visible sign of support.
Mr Rodda said: “I’d like to thank Banksy, or whoever else painted this, for their support for the campaign to save Reading Gaol.
“The media coverage generated by this artwork shows the amazing interest in the story of the gaol and Oscar Wilde.
“This unique historic building should be saved for future generations.”