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Banksy wants to turn a former prison into an art venue

Banksy wants to turn a former prison into an art venue

The project will be funded from income from the sale of a multi-million dollar stencil.

With multi-million dollar stencil proceeds, Banksy wants to turn an empty British prison, which once housed Oscar Wilde, into an arts centre. As reported by the Sunday Times, the legendary street artist is offering to increase Reading City Council’s bid by ten million pounds (€11.7 million) to 12.6 million pounds.

It’s the stencil Banksy used to paint a large piece of art on the outside wall of Reading’s former prison in March. The movie “Create Escape” features a mountaintop guest with the help of tied papers and a typewriter. This work is a tribute to Wilde, who was imprisoned here from 1895 to 1897 for homosexual “adultery.” So far, only one drawing by Banksy has been auctioned.

“I had no interest in reading until I passed prison in an alternative train bus,” the newspaper quoted the artist as saying. “It’s rare to find an unbroken 500m paintable deck in the middle of a city. I almost climbed over the person sitting next to me to get a better look.”

The Reading City Council, about 55 kilometers west of London, is supporting the Banksy Show. An offer from the commission was recently rejected and the building, which has not been in use since 2013, was sold to a real estate company, but this deal also did not materialize. The Department of Justice, however, reacted skeptically to Banksy’s plans. She added that the offer period has expired.

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