Legal precedent made for anyone to engage in iconoclasm, so long as they’re "offended".
A man scaled the facade of a statue that was sculpted by a child molester outside BBC headquarters in London, defacing it with the words “paedos and propaganda.”
A protester carrying a hammer used an ordinary ladder to reach the monument, which was erected in 1933 by artist Eric Gill, who in 1989 was revealed to have sexually abused his daughters, sister and family dog.
As he chipped away at the statue, the man told police the statue should have been removed “decades ago.” The man was subsequently arrested after a four hour standoff, with a crane being used to remove him from the 10 foot statue, which represents The Tempest character Ariel as a naked young boy.
“Gill’s statue has garnered controversy since its installation 88 years ago, when critics voiced concern over the size of the boy’s genitalia – prompting the tabling of a question in the House of Commons,” reports the Telegraph.
Many have questioned why the BBC itself didn’t remove the statue, particularly after revelations that the broadcaster had facilitated the cover up of the Jimmy Saville pedophile scandal.
Another statue made by Gill is situated inside the BBC building itself, although that hasn’t been removed either. Last week, four left-wing activists were cleared of criminal damage for pulling down a statue of slave-trader Edward Colston in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter protest. This set the legal precedent that anyone can now destroy public art or works of heritage without punishment, so long as they claim to be offended. “Coming just a week after the Colston verdict, this attack demonstrates that it was indeed a ‘vandal’s charter’ placing all of our built heritage at increased risk,” said Robert Poll, founder of the campaign group Save Our Statues.
“We have now entered a new age of barbarism, where the value of art is judged only by the politics imposed upon it, and destruction is considered progressive,” he added.