Campaigners hope this will prevent the sale of Grade II listed HMP Reading to real estate developers.
The anonymous Bristol street artist hopes to turn Berkshire Prison into a ‘safe haven for art’ with a possible £ 10million from the sale of a stencil he used for the artwork. art he painted on the side of the prison in March.
His contribution, along with that of the Reading Borough Council, would bring the bid for the former prison to around £ 12.6million.
Banksy said: “I had very little interest in Reading until I was on a rail replacement bus service that passed the prison.
“It is rare to find an uninterrupted surface to be painted 500 m long that is right in the middle of a city.
“I literally climbed the passenger next to me to get a closer look.
“I promised myself I’d paint the wall before I even knew what it was. I’m passionate about it now, though.”
He added: “Oscar Wilde is the patron saint who shattered two contrasting ideas to create magic. Converting the place that destroyed it into a refuge for art is so perfect that we have to do it.”
Banksy’s mural depicted a figure, considered Wilde, rappelling down the perimeter wall of the sheets with a typewriter.
Writer and spirit Wilde was held in prison between 1895 and 1897 after being convicted of gross indecency when his affair with Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas came to light.