BANKSY has confirmed that graffiti in his style spotted in Astley Bridge is not his work.

A representative from Pest Control, the agency that represents the artist, has confirmed that Banksy did not create the rat mural in Blackburn Road.

The announcement follows the assesment of a University of Bolton art expert, who poured cold water on the theory that Banksy has paid a visit to Bolton.

The Bolton News reported last week how murals in the style of the elusive artist were spotted by van driver Stuart Yates outside a derelict building in Blackburn Road, Astley Bridge, as he drove past with his partner.

And who is behind the stencil art, which shows two rodents — one with the symbol for nuclear energy on its fur, and another holding a rose-shaped fork — remains a mystery.

Rebecca Sitar, a senior lecturer in fine arts at the University of Bolton, said she smells a rat, and she thinks it is unlikely this graffiti is the work of the famous Banksy.

She said: “The methods Bansky uses can easily be replicated, which subsequently make authenticating the real thing very difficult.

“Added to this, there has been a quite a bit of news recently aligned to him from the States.

“So, unless Banksy has had a festive break in Bolton over the Christmas period, it’s more than likely a very good copy in the style of Banksy.”

Other names thrown into the hat include Salford-born artist Davlo, whose street art has been snapped up by the likes of Vivienne Westwood.

But when The Bolton News contacted him he denied it was his work.

Do you know who created the art? Contact The Bolton News on 01204 537271.