A LIFESIZE cut-out of Mr Bean by Bradford’s answer to Banksy - Moonie - has been stolen from a city-centre street.

The humorous artwork, in a doorway in East Parade, Little Germany, showed the television favourite trying to keep the door closed as a velociraptor attempts to break through.

But Mr Bean has vanished, much to the dismay of the artist himself.

Moonie, who keeps his identity a closely-guarded secret, said it was the first time any of his work had been stolen.

He said: “It’s very sad. It spoils it for the 99 per cent of the population who appreciate it being there and have selfies. It’s just a shame.”

Moonie said the Mr Bean figure had been mounted on an aluminium sheet and fixed in place with industrial glue, so “to get it off would have been quite a job”.

Theft is a big threat to street art, and works by world-famous art star Banksy have frequently been removed from walls or buildings, sometimes finding their way into auctions.

But Moonie said he doubted this was the case here.

He said: “It’s obviously not an art connoisseur that’s nicked it, because it is a site-specific piece of art.

“So without the door and without the dinosaur, it’s not like they have stolen it with the thought that it’s going to go up in value. They’ve just thought, ‘I will have that’.

“It’s not a Banksy. I don’t think I’m in that bracket at all. It’s just some idiot that’s just decided that he felt like he would do it at the time. Maybe if he’s sat in his bedroom wondering why he did it in the cold light of day, I would say please return it if at all possible.”

Local organisation Little Germany Action Ltd had commissioned the work as part of a growing art trail through the area.

Moonie said he was now speaking to them about producing a replacement Mr Bean.

Little Germany Action director Dave West said he was “very annoyed” by the theft, but was trying to see the lighter side.

He said: “There is a funny side to it because if they really love him, it’s a cheek but it proves someone loves the art we are producing.”

He said Mr Bean had been stolen on Wednesday and he had not yet reported it to the police but was planning to tell officers at a community meeting planned for tomorrow.

Little Germany Action has been developing the public arts trail to try to attract more visitors to the historic merchants’ quarter.

Moonie has been responsible for many of the artworks, including a playful image of Samson appearing to push apart two real pillars on Church Bank opposite Bradford Cathedral, and a doorway depicted as Led Zeppelin’s stairway to Heaven in Peckover Street.

His Mr Bean-themed work appeared on the doorway of Caspian House, at the junction of East Parade and Peckover Street, in February 2016.