Headless Maggie
December 18, 2002 7:56 AM   Subscribe

Man Beheads (statue of) Margaret Thatcher. His "sense of 'satirical humour' left him no choice but to carry out the attack" on the £150,000 Maggie as 'artistic expression and [his] right to interact with this broken world.' Jury fails to convict and a retrial is scheduled. Perhaps there is a creative solution to replacing the head?
posted by Shane (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why didn't he just make a replica statue but without a head or does that require actually having talent?
posted by PenDevil at 8:03 AM on December 18, 2002

Read link(s)/post comment. In that order. I'm always reminding myself of this...
posted by Shane at 8:08 AM on December 18, 2002

How could destroying a statue that doesn't belong to you be anything but criminal? Artistic expression my ass.

Are you suggesting a replacement with stubble?
posted by LittleMissCranky at 8:14 AM on December 18, 2002

Shane: I did. I still don't why his 'satirical humour' didn't lead him to make something by himself rather than just destroy the works of other...
posted by PenDevil at 8:33 AM on December 18, 2002

*Sigh* I think:
a) It's funny that Mr Kelleher felt so compelled (or incensed or compulsed) that he actually climbed Maggie and knocked her block off. Somehow I imagine it as a spontaneous moment of joyful madness. I gain immense satisfaction and humor from mentally picturing this moment, despite the fact that I am not normally a particularly violent fellow.

b) I think it's funny the jury didn't convict him. He must have had one heckuva convincing "artistic expression" argument. Wish I'd heard it.

c) I think Kelleher didn't just sculpt a headless Maggie because he's not a sculptor. He's a theatre producer. But perhaps if he tried he might discover hidden talent? We should all try new things often.


d) I think it would be darn funny, although improbable, if someone replaced Maggie's head with that completely beautifully ugly-ass stubbly statue of sculptor Ron Mueck's head.

Mueck is the sculptor, Kelleher is the executioner.
Sorry for all this confusion folks.
posted by Shane at 8:47 AM on December 18, 2002

For those that are more concerned about the "property" than the "art" (which reminds me of this, BTW): I am actually more concerned about your apparent disregard of the decision of a jury of fellow citizens, who decided to let the "executioner" free.

I'd like to know what your "constructive" suggestions are. Jail the guy without trial?
posted by magullo at 9:11 AM on December 18, 2002

"...as soon as he heard the work of art was going on show at London's Guildhall his sense of "satirical humour" left him no choice but to carry out the attack...He first hit the statue with a cricket bat and when that failed picked up a nearby metal stanchion from a crowd barrier and let loose with another blow, this time successfully. "

It sounds...deliciously loony What a shame it wasn't videotaped! The curious thing, in my mind, is that no one around ran to the defense of 'Thatcher's head' (no Tory loyalists around perhaps?) -- His "defense" is so patently ridiculous, some on the jury must see him as a folk-hero.
any marble statues of Reagan around? maybe he could come to the US and...

posted by troutfishing at 9:23 AM on December 18, 2002

magullo : the didn't let the guy off, they failed to reach a decision. That makes it new jury time...
posted by twine42 at 9:24 AM on December 18, 2002

Artistic expression my ass.

Nicely put. It's vandalism. It's puzzling why he isn't punished for destroying an artwork unless he is a lunatic. Can't see any extenuating circumstances that might have appealed to the jury.
posted by taratan at 9:25 AM on December 18, 2002

How could destroying a statue that doesn't belong to you be anything but criminal? Artistic expression my ass.

Does that mean we get to see Thatcher in court, for doing something similar to a country that didn't belong to her for ten years?
posted by riviera at 9:38 AM on December 18, 2002

It's puzzling why he isn't punished for destroying an artwork

What is puzzling is that someone refers to a figurative reproduction of Thatcher as an "art work". Let me remind you people that this nice lady was hosting Pinochet in London when he got in hot water over those minor genocide charges.

Then again, pissing all over the Alamo monument gets you a reality show in MTV these days ... so what do I know?
posted by magullo at 9:44 AM on December 18, 2002

In retrospect I realize I should also clarify: Mueck did not sculpt the Thatcher statue. Mueck is a totally unrelated sculptor; I just tossed, well, pitched, really just flung Mueck in here for comic relief (and because I think his work is strangely compelling). Sorry again for any potential confusion.

...some on the jury must see him as a folk-hero.

At the risk of revealing my own politics, I would have to say Kelleher is a new "folk-hero" of mine...
posted by Shane at 10:03 AM on December 18, 2002

Perhaps they could replace the head with a rendering of Satan, though I don't know if Old Scratch would consent to being depicted with an imperial bouffant hairdo.

Or possibly they could just bury the statue and Elvis Costello can sing "Tramp the Dirt Down."

And I'm with you Shane -- I think it's all deliciously loony as well, due in very large part to the eagerness with which I await her demise. (Ah, sweet memories of youth and the Poll Tax riot: "Maggie Maggie Maggie! OUT OUT OUT!")
posted by scody at 10:40 AM on December 18, 2002

posted by Eirixon at 11:33 AM on December 18, 2002

How could destroying a statue that doesn't belong to you be anything but criminal? Artistic expression my ass.

Of course it was criminal damage, but even a decade of so since she resigned as Prime Minister she still has the ability to cause er, strong feelings, amongst the british public.

I for one know that if I'd been on that jury I wouldn't have bought the 'artistic expression' defence - but I'd find it damn difficult to convict the guy simply because I wish I'd thought of it first (and had the guts to go through with it).

Definately agree with using tramp the dirt down - great song!!
posted by qwerty155 at 3:18 PM on December 18, 2002

Although ultimately I can't condone vandalising artworks, the statue was hideously ugly, a bit like Darth Vader in drag, and had previously been rejected by several other sites. I feel the statue wasn't Art before, but it is now and I'm delighted the guy was not convicted.

I'll confess I had rather the same impulse when the Baronness was signing books at my local bookshop, but the security was just too good.

If Elvis isn't available, perhaps Morrissey would perform Margaret on the Guillotine?
posted by BinkyF at 4:09 PM on December 18, 2002

Reminds me of that heartwarming episode of the Simpsons...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:04 PM on December 18, 2002

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