The artist Banksy has confirmed that a new graffiti piece that has appeared in south Wales is his.
He used his verified Instagram account to announce: “Season’s greetings” – with a video of the artwork in Port Talbot.
The image appears on two sides of a garage depicting a child enjoying snow falling – the other side reveals it is a fire emitting ash.
The garage owner said he had not slept over fears it might be vandalised.
Ian Lewis, who built the garage in the 90s to prevent his car being damaged, said he found out about the possible Banksy “yesterday morning on my Facebook account”.
“I didn’t think much of it at the time, I knew a little bit about Banksy but I never thought it would be him – if it is him,” he said.
Who is Banksy?
Banksy is a famous – but anonymous – British graffiti artist. He keeps his identity a secret
He produces pieces of work which pop up in public places, such as on the walls of buildings.
A lot of his art is done in a particular style which people can easily recognise.
He began spray-painting trains and walls in his home city of Bristol in the early 1990s.
But in the 2000s, he expanded his work beyond Bristol and was soon leaving his artistic mark all over the world.
“There were people coming here all night.
“I am very pleased, I think it is a smashing bit of artwork. It is good for the town and I just want to protect it, and it is here for everybody.”
Plaid Cymru councillor for Aberavon, Nigel Thomas Hunt said the whole town had been “buzzing” with speculation that the work was by Banksy.
“The placing of the work is very clever, in between the blast furnace and the M4, yards from where Richard Burton was brought up and where we’ve had bonfires for years,” he said.
“You can look at the painting and see the furnaces in the background.”
Anthony Taylor, deputy leader of Neath Port Talbot council, said: “The council has been liaising with the property owner throughout the day and has put in place fencing to assist in protecting this artwork whilst they consider what their next steps might be.
“We have also been in contact with other local authorities who have previously had Banksy artworks within their area, to take advice.”
Speculation that the piece was a genuine Banksy piece was fuelled when a sketch bearing striking similarities to the latest piece emerged.
It appeared in a documentary last year, featuring exchanges between the film director Danny Boyle and Banksy, as they collaborated on an alternative “nativity” play in Bethlehem.