<p>Christopher Walken paints over original Banksy mural. </p>

Christopher Walken paints over original Banksy mural.

BBC One

Actor Christopher Walken painted over an original Banksy mural for a new BBC show.

The Outlaws, written and directed by Stephen Merchant, stars Walken as as a criminal ordered to restore a building for community service. Showrunners commissioned Banksy to paint one of his signature rats, with Walken painting over it as part of the show.

The episode shows Walken uncovering the Banksy rat and recognizing its value immediately. Unsure what to do, he asks his probation officer whether he should paint over it. The officer doesn’t turn to look at the artwork, and tells him that all graffiti is to be painted over. Walken’s character complies.

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“We can confirm that the artwork at the end of The Outlaws was an original Banksy, and that Christopher Walken painted over that artwork during the filming of this scene, ultimately destroying it,” a spokesperson for The Outlaws said.

The series is filmed in Banksy’s home city of Bristol.

The anonymous artist works are in high demand and worth millions of dollars. Earlier this year, an investigation was launched to catch the culprit who defaced a Banksy artwork in Suffolk, England. The mural, which depicted a rat lounging in a beach chair, was damaged with white paint. Another Banksy painting appeared on the side of a building in the Suffolk town of Lowestoft, and added £200k to its asking price. It was initially listed at £300,000, but removed and revalued after Banksy confirmed the work was genuine.

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