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UK News

Man uses hammer to attack statue outside BBC building


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A man has used a hammer to attack a statue sculpted by a sex abuser outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House in central London.

The man began bashing the sculpture by Eric Gill on Wednesday afternoon and was continuing into the evening.

The Metropolitan Police said officers were called at around 4.15pm on Wednesday to Broadcasting House in Portland Street, Westminster.

A man climbed on to the statue of Prospero and Ariel from Shakespeare's play The Tempest by the sculptor Eric Gill
Image: The man attacked the statue of Prospero and Ariel with a hammer

Police have cordoned off the entrance to the building and London Ambulance Service paramedics have arrived at the scene.

The man, who reached the 10ft fall figures by using a ladder, said the statue should have been removed in the past.

“If this happened decades ago, I wouldn’t be here would I?” he told negotiators.

A spokesperson for the Met said: “Officers attended and remain on scene attempting to engage with the man.

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“Another man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.”

The sculpture depicts Prospero and Ariel from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest and was installed in 1933, according to the BBC.

Man climbed on to statue of Prospero and Ariel
Image: ‘If this happened decades ago, I wouldn’t be here would I?’ the man told negotiators

The sculptor, Gill, is said to have sexually abused two of his daughters.

A biography on the Tate museum website said: “His religious views and subject matter contrast with his sexual behaviour, including his erotic art, and (as mentioned in his own diaries) his extramarital affairs and sexual abuse of his daughters, sisters and dog.”

Pieces of stone on the pavement
Image: Pieces of stone on the pavement

Nearly 2,500 people have previously signed a petition demanding the removal of the sculpture on the website of political activist group 38 Degrees.

It comes a week after a jury cleared four people of criminal damage after they pulled down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston during a Black lives Matter protest in Bristol on 7 June 2020.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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