THE “shameful” actions of a man who claims he snatched a Banksy from a seafront wall have been condemned.

Brighton and Hove City Council says it is looking into the incident after the man appeared on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow attempting to have the artwork valued.

On the show, the man said: “I used to live in Brighton in the late 90s, early 2000s, and I was walking along Brighton seafront and I saw it on the lido (sic).

“It looked loose. I went over, pulled it off basically.

“(I gave it) a little bit of a tug.”

It is believed the piece was taken from the Black Rock or Saltdean Lido area.

The man tried to have the piece authenticated, which antiques expert Robert Maas told him could mean its value would shoot up to more than £20,000.

But Banksy’s official authenticity website, called Pest Control, would not confirm it was a legitimate piece by the world’s most famous street artist.

The Argus:

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “We are looking into the claims that this has been taken from somewhere along our city’s seafront.

“Removing street art from public spaces is not only criminal damage but can lead to safety hazards or closure of valuable amenities for our residents. It is a shameful act that is detrimental to the whole community and it will not be tolerated.”

The authority was not alone in its outrage over the man’s brazen confession on national television.

TalkRadio presenter Andre Walker told The Argus: “I am disgusted that the BBC broadcast this. The man in question made a boastful claim to have ripped a valuable piece of artwork off a wall in Brighton.

“In doing so, he stole from the city, caused damage to the lido and denied the people of Brighton the ability to enjoy this work of art.

“I have contacted both the police and the city council.

“I sincerely hope they will intervene and ensure that this painting is returned to the city and the man involved is properly dealt with.

“Brighton is known as a centre for art and culture, and that fact makes this theft even more offensive.”

The Banksy featured on an episode of Antiques Roadshow aired on Sunday, which featured “some of the best unseen items from recent roadshows”.

The Argus:

The BBC told The Argus that this excerpt was taken from an episode filmed in July 2018. The broadcaster also condemned the man, with a spokeswoman echoing the words of one of the Antiques Roadshow experts.

She said: “Our expert, Rupert Maas, clearly says ‘I think the message here is that, if you do see a piece of graffiti art out there, leave it, leave it for the public’.”

However, the broadcaster would not comment further or answer questions from The Argus over whether any action had been, or would be, taken against the man.

Sussex Police said they had received no reports of a Banksy having been stolen from Brighton.

A spokeswoman for the force said: "We will investigate incidents that are reported to us.

"Members of the public can report a crime to us either online or by calling 101. In an emergency, always dial 999."