A man has been caught after he is said to have used a hammer to hit a controversial statue outside the BBC’s headquarters in London.
At 4:15 BST on Saturday, police were called to Broadcasting House because someone was on scaffolding and damaging Eric Gill’s Prospero and Ariel.
People have asked for it to be taken down because the sculptor wrote in his diaries that he hurt his children.
This is the second time that the work from the 1930s has been a target.
Just after 18:00 BST, the man was taken down from the scaffold.
The Metropolitan Police said he was taken into custody after being arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and going armed.
In January of last year, a protester hit the figure with a hammer. Work to fix the damage caused by that event is still going on.
On Saturday, a man in a Spider-Man mask was seen standing on the scaffold and screaming at police officers on the ground. From the video, it looked like he also hit the figure with a hammer and chisel.
Police put up a cordon and said at first that they couldn’t “safely hold the man because of the circumstances of the incident and his height.”
They also said that experts were on their way to the spot.
The tweet below confirms the news:
Gill was born in 1882, and he went on to become a well-known artist. He made several big sculptures for buildings in central London, such as Westminster Cathedral and the first headquarters of the London Underground.
He also made the font Gill Sans, which is used a lot in Britain.
Gill died in 1940, but in 1989, his diary entries were released in a biography. In those entries, he talked about sex acts on his two oldest daughters, an incestuous relationship with his sister, and sex acts on his dog.
The figure in front of Broadcasting House shows Prospero and Ariel from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. It was put there in 1933. Ariel, an air spirit, is shown as a young, naked boy.
Katie Razzall, the BBC’s culture editor, said that Gill was an “incredibly successful and well-known sculptor and artist” whose life brings questions about “whether you can judge an artist or anyone based on their real lives or whether their art stands alone.”
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The BBC said before that the work to fix the damage from last year would be done on June 19. There are also plans to put a QR code near the statue to tell people more about it and its past.
The company said that the police and emergency services should deal with the new incident.
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