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Head Of Thatcher Put On Stick

Credit: Levan Ramishvili Public Domain Mark 1.0

The police are launching an investigation after suspected criminal damage to the statue of a former Prime Minister.

A pike with the head of former Prime Minister Margret Thatcher attached to it appeared in Mrs Thatcher’s home town on Sunday.

The pike appeared in Grantham where a new £300,000 11ft statue of Thatcher is due to be placed. The pike had been placed there by Mark Roberts, who goes under the pseudonym Markrobla. He claims that the plaster head of Margret Thatcher took five months to create. He denies any law-breaking.

Lincolnshire Police said in a statement: “We are liaising with South Kesteven District Council and will investigate any offences identified.”

Credit: Mark Robla

A spokesperson for the South Kesteven District Council told the Grantham Journal: “The council has dismantled the unauthorised artwork and made the area safe for members of the public. We are also liaising with the police regarding this matter.”

The unveiling of the actual statue has been delayed to the coronavirus pandemic. It is being held in a secret location until the unveiling. The funds for the statue had been raised primarily through fundraising and private donations.

Mr Roberts, who lives in Grantham, said:

“I had seen the statue was going to be unveiled and thought I might as well do my own version, and I’ve saved the Council hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“I started off making a full figure but the arms kept falling off over time, so I had a bit of an episode and decided to stick her head to a pike.

“I have been trying to get it all done and made before the Council officially put the statue up. I’ll be amazed if it’s still standing today. There was no breaking and entering. It has a metal fence around it so I’ve just gone in with my ladder and put it up in about five minutes.

“I had my high-viz jacket on and the plan was to say I was measuring the plinth for the Council if anyone said anything.

Credit: University of Salford Press Office – CC BY 2.0

“I was just trying to put it up without being noticed; that’s why I did it so early in the morning. The Council have no idea, it’s one of those things that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

“I supposed a head cut off on a spike is not overly obscene for today’s day and age.

“If it’s up for a week I will be happy, but it’s up to the Council; they will take it down themselves – it hasn’t done any damage to the plinth, though.

“I suppose a big part of British history was obviously cutting people’s heads off in castles and things like that – it’s a traditional thing.

“I think having her head on a pike on a plinth to show it wasn’t necessarily a celebration of her.

“Originally I wanted her to have bags of coal around the bottom but she’s actually got her hand holding onto her handbag instead, which works a bit better visually.”