Homeless Man Locked Inside Tate Britain

Tate Britain. Photo by Tony Hisgett, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Like a creepy real-life version of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, a homeless man nearly spent the night at Tate Britain after he got locked in a museum bathroom shortly before closing time, reports the Telegraph.

The man, 32-year-old Raj Patel, fell asleep in the bathroom shortly before the museum closed. He awoke two hours later, and realized his mistake.

“I’m not a great fan of art but there’s a loo near the door so I went in. I’m homeless and I suppose the day just caught up with me, so I dropped off,” Patel explained to the Evening Standard. “I remember hearing someone open the door and shouting ‘security,’ but I was half-asleep and they didn’t check the cubicle. When I woke up the entire place was in darkness.

“It was just a bit eerie, being there all alone,” Patel admitted. “I wandered around for 10 minutes looking for a security guard to let me out. When I found one, they just let me go—they didn’t ask for ID or even my name. I was shocked because I was ready to explain how I had come to be locked in there.”

According to a Tate spokesperson, “a man locked himself in a toilet cubicle before the museum closed on Wednesday. He was located in the cloakroom area and escorted from the building at 6:50 p.m. He did not enter any galleries. We have appropriate security measures in place. The man was not near the galleries and no art was put at risk. But we will review this incident.”

Presumably, the Tate will not be hosting any Night at the Museum-style adult sleepovers any time soon (see “Cramped Cots Mar Natural History Museum’s Adult Sleepover“). At least Patel didn’t have to call the police to bust him out, as recently happened to a gallery-goer in San Francisco (see “Man Accidentally Locked in San Francisco Gallery“).

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