In front of the BBC headquarters stands tall a statue of Shakespeare’s Prospero and a part-naked Ariel from The Tempest by artist Eric Gill. The structure was built in 1933, London, right after BBC opened its office floors.
On Wednesday, around 4:15pm, a father of two climbed up the ladder to chop off the penis on the statue.
A statue bathed in controversy
Eric Gill was an English sculptor and particularly renowned for being connected with the Arts and Crafts movement in England.
But Gill’s personal diaries published after his death revealed that he had sexually abused his two daughters. And the debate continues whether the artwork by a known paedophile does justice, sitting right at the top of the national headquarters of the British broadcaster.
Man uses hammer
In the video above, we can see the man is repeatedly hammering the edifice and smashing it. He further breaks the child’s penis in the statue, while pedestrians on the street calls him a ‘bad person’ for breaking it down.
The father signed off the edifice inscribing:
Time to go was 1989
Noose all paedos!
Police have reportedly arrested his accomplice 'on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.'
The statue is a key feature of the worldwide recognized listed edifice that lies above the BBC's Regent Street entrance. Gill's sculpture on the front of the building has long been a source of contention, according to BBC Monitoring correspondent Shayan Sardarizadeh,
(It's) an obsession for British QAnon, ‘save our children’, ‘satanic ritual abuse’ and other conspiracy groups for a very long time.
Far-right activists such as Tommy Robinson have regularly cited its presence on social media, while criticising the BBC. In 2013, sexual abuse organisations also called for the edifice to be removed from the BBC's headquarters.
BBC has refused to take it down in the past and says:
(The statue is) one of the last century’s major British artists whose work has been widely displayed in leading UK museums and galleries.