AN UNPREPOSSESSING wall in Lyme Regis has become the focus of the international art world after a painting of a bird has been “claimed” by notorious street artist Banksy.

Speculation in the town had been rife for weeks that the stencilled origami-style heron with a goldfish in its mouth was a new work by the “guerrilla” artist, who secretly paints large-scale street murals to the delight – or disgust of the public.

But this week “new master” Banksy provided the equivalent of a signature by posting the Lyme heron on his website.

Photographer Peter Wiles said the heron on the banks of the River Lim appeared over a couple of nights.

“Some suggested that the picture was the work of Banksy, but there was no evidence,” he said.

“Lyme has a lively artistic community but no local painter has come forward to take credit for the work.

“Graffiti in a conservation area might normally be frowned on, but most residents and visitors staying in Lyme Regis seem to welcome this graceful addition to the many attractions of the town.”