Sculpture at London school vandalized with ‘Palestine’ graffiti, ‘Boycott Israeli Apartheid’ sticker
London – A new sculpture unveiled at the central London campus of the London School of Economics on Tuesday has been repeatedly defaced by vandals.
The giant installation, called, “The World Turned Upside Down,” is an inverted globe that sits on the North Pole with Antarctica at its summit. Countries, cities and oceans were relabeled to be read from the new vantage point and Mark Wallinger, the British artist behind the sculpture, said his piece showed “the world from a different viewpoint: familiar, strange and subject to change.”
A member of the LSE staff told the pro-Israel blog Israellycool that the sculpture cost over $2 million.
Angus Reilly, president of the LSE History Society, shared on Twitter photos showing that the same day as the unveiling, vandals crossed out Israel on the sculpture and instead wrote “Palestine” with a heart symbol, and also placed a Post-it note that read “Palestine.” Reilly captioned the shot, “This is disgraceful antisemitism on my campus and I have never felt more ashamed to be a student here.”
Security at the school removed the writing, but the following day a sticker of the Palestinian flag that said, “Boycott Israeli apartheid,” was placed over a crossed out Israel and beside it, “Palestine,” was written in black marker.
Reilly said the sculpture was again cleaned off but within the hour someone had drawn “Palestine” back onto the globe.
LSE released a statement on Thursday, which Reilly shared with The Algemeiner after it was posted at the school, in response to the vandalism.
“We understand and respect that strong feelings exist around statehood and identity,” the statement said. “LSE encourages respectful exchanges on these issues but criminal damage on LSE property is not acceptable. LSE takes all views expressed by staff and students seriously, and we are meeting with representatives from the School community to address the concerns raised. We will keep the School community updated.”
LSE added that it was “committed to creating an inclusive, accessible and safe environment for all and ensuring that everyone in our community is treated with equal dignity and respect at all times.”