The man was seen hitting the statue on Wednesday afternoon

A man has taken a hammer to a statue on the BBC’s Broadcasting House in central London.

The Prospero and Ariel statue was carved by Eric Gill and has been on display at the BBC since 1933.

There has been a campaign to have the statue removed for several years, because the sculptor recorded sexually abusing his daughters in his diaries.

Police were called to the scene at about 16:15 GMT and the man was brought down about four hours later.

BBC staff reported hearing the man shout “paedophile” as he struck the statue at Broadcasting House, which is connected to New Broadcasting House, the BBC’s main headquarters.

A cherry picker was used to bring the man down

A spokesman for the Met said the man was brought down with the help of a fire crew.

He was checked over by ambulance workers before being arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and taken into custody, he added.

He said the property owners were examining any damage to the statue and building.

Earlier the force said another man had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

A spokeswoman for the BBC declined to comment.

In recent years, groups such as QAnon have campaigned against the statue carved by Gill, who died in 1940.

The statue, carved by Eric Gill, has adorned Broadcasting House since 1933

The attack on the statue comes a week after four people accused of illegally removing a statue of 17th Century slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol were cleared of criminal damage.

It happened during a Black Lives Matter protest in the city in 2020, during a widespread debate about the place of certain historical statues in modern society.

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