Museum Removes Controversial Margaret Thatcher Statue from View
London’s Guildhall Art Gallery has moved a statue of Margaret Thatcher to a remote corner, off-limits to the casual visitor. But it has denied that it was “banishing” the former PM’s effigy, the Telegraph reports.
A museum spokesman said the sculpture, made by the artist Neil Simmons, was moved during a rehanging process, and left in the new spot due to its flattering light. The piece can now been seen only upon request.
Thatcher’s statue was commissioned in 1998 by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee and was unveiled by Thatcher herself.
Since then, the £150,000, eight-foot-tall sculpture has had a rather eventful run. In 2002, shortly after it was installed at the Guildhall, a vandal named Paul Kelleher stormed in and hit the piece with a cricket bat concealed in his trousers. Not satisfied, the theater producer then bludgeoned the sculpture with a metal rope stanchion, knocking its head off.
Kelleher, who waited quietly for police to arrest him, said of the sculpture upon being captured: “I think it looks better like that.” During his trial, Kelleher said that his attack on the artwork was a form of “artistic expression” and that he did it to exercise his “right to interact with this broken world.” In 2003, he was sentenced to three months in prison.
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