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Man arrested for allegedly defacing statue at BBC headquarters

By Simon Druker
Man arrested for allegedly defacing statue at BBC headquarters
The controversial sculpture by Eric Gill came under scrutiny after it was discovered the sculptor sexually abused his children. File Photo by Philip Halling/Wikimedia

Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A man was arrested in Central London on Wednesday after allegedly using a hammer to vandalize a statue in front of the headquarters of the BBC.

Officers were called shortly after 4 p.m. and quickly cordoned off the area, and the man eventually came down with the help of fire crews, according to the BBC.

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The whole incident lasted around 4 hours.

"The property owners are examining any damage to the statue and building," said a police spokesperson, according to The Independent.

The man was apparently lashing out at the sculptor of the statue.

Staff at the BBC said they heard him yelling "pedophile" while attempting to deface it.

The statue was carved by Eric Gill and installed in 1933 outside the BBC headquarters.

It was later discovered in his diaries that Gill, who died in 1940, had written about sexually abusing his daughters.

The public has campaigned for several years to have the Prospero and Ariel statue removed. It depicts the two aforementioned characters from Shakespeare's play The Tempest.

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The BBC did not comment but did report a second man was also arrested nearby on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a criminal charge.

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