London's Statues Caged!

By M@ Last edited 66 months ago
London's Statues Caged!

Have you ever lost yourself in the Barbican? Its multi-level platforms and bewildering architecture have led to comparisons with a maze. The estate even has its own minotaur sculpture, perhaps a self-parody of the labyrinthine surroundings.


While walking listlessly around the Barbican recently, we were alarmed to find that the minotaur has been caged. A 'Danger Keep Out' notice is appended to its prison.


Is this health and safety gone mad? Is it an artistic prank? Or has a municipal Theseus trapped the beast in preparation for imminent construction work? We assumed the latter, but recently a new notice has appeared.


"The MINOTAUR has been removed by City of London for Safe Keeping," it declares, with numinous capitalisation. The minotaur has vanished, spirited away by the local council. It is a deleted minotaur.

Like the beast itself, the sign is part bull. Our bovine chum is clearly still there. So perhaps it is an artistic installation after all — a kind-of reverse Emperor's New Clothes, in which we're encouraged to not see what is plainly before us. Baffling.

The plot thickens, however. The Cretan creature isn't the only London statue to be caged.


This white horse, installed by artist Mark Wallinger on The Mall recently, is also trapped in a minimal paddock. The captive trotster is a smaller representation of Wallinger's stalled 'Angel of the South' project. So we have an equine angel and a minotaur ensnared. Is someone rounding up the capital's bestiary?

We're afraid it doesn't stop there. This sculpture of a City trader on Walbrook has also been imprisoned.


Some might say that this is a suitable penance for a banker, following the financial horrors of the Credit Crunch. But there's a bigger picture here. Someone's confining our sculpture, putting art behind bars. It's time to make a stand before Nelson himself is enmeshed, or before someone encases Eros in a globe. Join the Campaign Rallying Against Prominent Public Art Needlessly Trapped and Segregated (CRAP-PANTS) today, and help rid London of this scourge.

Last Updated 30 July 2013