A collector who has bought dozens of Banksy murals claims he is not interested adding the “phenomenal” Reading artwork to his collection.

The large mural, which shows a prisoner escaping with a typewriter on a rope made of bedsheets, appeared on the wall of Reading Prison this week.

On March 4, the elusive street artist confirmed that he created the new mural, by posting a video on his verified Instagram page.

The empty Grade II listed Victorian prison, which once held playwright Oscar Wilde, is owned by the Ministry of Justice but Reading Borough Council wants to buy the building so it can become an arts and cultural centre.

READ MORE: Banksy confirms Reading Prison mural as his latest work

John Brandler, owner of Brandler Galleries, has acquired 40 Banksy pieces and hired specialist engineers to remove some of them from brick walls.

Last month, he paid for a Banksy mural, of a girl hula-hooping with a bicycle tyre, to be cut out of a wall in Nottingham.

But the collector insists that he does not want to add Banksy’s Reading artwork to his collection.

Mr Brandler said: “This is so tall and thin. Where would you hang it? Where would you display it?”

The Banksy mural on the wall of Reading Prison

The Banksy mural on the wall of Reading Prison

The collector said he owns larger Banksy murals, including a two-and-a-half tonne piece called Heart Boy which he bought from a museum in Amsterdam, but they are “manageable”.

The removal of other Banksy murals has proven to be very controversial and Mr Brandler admits the artist does not always approve.

But he says the street artist’s work “makes you think and makes you smile”.

He said: “What I find amazing with the piece in Reading is that if you look at it from an angle, it appears to be 3D. That’s phenomenal artwork.

“Whether you like the man or not and I don’t – let’s say I’m not on his Christmas card list – that’s phenomenal work.”

He added: “If any other artist had done this, there would have been an outcry that the listed building had been vandalised.

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“Why is it that when Banksy has done this, it’s not deemed vandalism?”

Historic England says the perimeter wall is “specifically excluded from the listing” and “listed building consent would not be needed to remove it”.

The Ministry of Justice says it is aware of the mural and is “considering next steps”.