Artist defends a putting model Margaret Thatcher head on a spike after police probe launched

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Craig Simpson
·2 min read
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A plaster head was left on a plinth meant for an official statue 
A plaster head was left on a plinth meant for an official statue

Police have launched an investigation after a sculpture of Margaret Thatcher’s severed head on a spike was placed on a plinth meant for an official statue of the Prime Minister.

The council for her home town of Grantham acquired a £300,000 statue of Baroness Thatcher which was refused a place on Parliament Square, and aims to unveil the monument at a £100,000 ceremony.

Plans for the likeness sparked criticism and plans for mass egg throwing, and a local artist has now prompted a police investigation after planting a plasterwork severed head on the plinth reserved for the former Conservative leader’s statue.

Lincolnshire Police officers confirmed that they received reports of criminal damage after the head was installed after 4am on Sunday, and it is understood the plaster effigy is being held by the local South Kesteven District Council

Art tutor and creator of the sculpture Mark Roberts told The Daily Telegraph: “I know I didn’t cause any damage, I went up there with a wooden ladder.

"I can’t imagine too much will come from it.”

He added: “It just seemed a fitting tribute really, rather than the official one with her standing there looking honourable.

“I wanted something more people would have wanted to see. She’s a polarising character.”

The artist has said his work looks like "Lily Savage" 
The artist has said his work looks like "Lily Savage"

Grantham resident Mr Roberts said that he could not resist the empty plinth, and argued that “good art is supposed to inspire debate”.

The artist conceded that his piece, which he believes has now been dismantled, might look “more like Lily Savage or Laurence Llewelyn Bowen” than Baroness Thatcher.

Mr Roberts is confident he has not caused any damage, and has said online criticism of his actions is “like water off a duck’s back”, but will not be pursuing further projects linked to local statutory.

He said: “I don’t think there are too many controversial art pieces in Grantham, I don’t want to continuously attack Margaret Thatcher.”

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police said: "We can confirm a crime of criminal damage has been recorded relating to damage to the plinth.

“We are liaising with South Kesteven District Council and will investigate any offences identified."

South Kesteven District Council confirmed it had removed the "unauthorised" work.