MPs told to stop touching statues of former prime ministers

Aug. 3, 2013 at 1:51 AM

LONDON, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Statues of former prime ministers in the British House of Commons need protection from members of Parliament who touch them for luck, leaders say.

The custom apparently began with a statue of Winston Churchill, The Daily Telegraph reported. MPs divide by political party with Conservatives touching the statues of Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, Labor members Clement Attlee, who served immediately after World War II, and Liberal Democrats David Lloyd George, who led Britain through World War I.

Melanie Unwin, deputy curator of the Houses of Parliament, said Churchill is already showing noticeable damage and the other three wear and tear.

"There are now cracks and small holes on the surface of the Churchill statue and substantial loss of surface texture on other statues," Unwin said.

A sign has been put up warning the statues are to be looked at and not touched. Plans to cordon them off are in the works.

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