ARTWORK painted by Banksy on the side of Reading Gaol has been vandalised.

The mural, confirmed by street artist Banksy as his work, depicts a prisoner escaping from the gaol using a rope of bed sheets tied to a typewriter.

The image prompted many people to think it was infamous inmate Oscar Wilde.

READ ALSO: Kate Winslet 'incredibly excited' about Banksy's jail artwork

A picture taken by a Reading resident shows red paint which reads 'Team Robbo' has been painted onto the mural.

It also shows the typewriter has been covered in red paint. 

According to The Guardian, King Robbo was a British graffiti artist who had a long-running dispute with Banksy. He died in 2014. 

READ MORE: Live blog: Reading Gaol's Banksy artwork vandalised 

Reading Borough Council leader Jason Brock said: “This is obviously hugely disappointing following the initial excitement in Reading recently when Banksy’s artwork appeared.

"How anyone can somehow think this is acceptable is completely beyond me, even if this is an extension of a historic feud, as is being suggested.

"There is understandable anger across the town today."

READ MORE: Council expresses 'huge disappointment' at defacing of Banksy artwork

Reading Gaol has been empty and unused since December 2013 when it was shut by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

Campaigners have been working tirelessly to save the Grade II listed building and turn it into an arts and heritage site for the community.

READ ALSO: Reading council approves new bid for gaol

Group Save Reading Gaol tweeted this morning to express their sadness at the news explaining it was "awful news to wake up to".

The tweet said: "A sad morning as we learn that the #Banksy #mural on the side of #ReadingGaol has been deliberately damaged with red paint."

The Ministry of Justice said it is aware of the situation.

Thames Valley Police said it is also aware of the incident which was reported to them by a member of the public at just after 6am this morning.

Anyone who has any information as to who may be responsible, can call 101, quoting incident reference number 204 of 16 March.