Cops break down art gallery doors to save sculptures • The Register

We doff our hats to the two London police officers who smashed down the doors of a small art gallery to save a woman who appeared to have collapsed and drowned in a soup bowl.

The bobbies at the loft were investigating reports that the woman involved had not moved for hours. But that’s because it’s made of tape and foam.

Christina, as the sculpture is called, was commissioned by Laz Emporium owner Steve Lazarides from American artist Mark Jenkins and is meant to depict Lazarides’ sister, dressed in a yellow hoodie, black sweatpants and pink sneakers, bowing her face in a bowl . The gallery posted a shot of the sculpture here.

According to Artnet News, police received a call at 5:32 p.m. on Nov. 25, not long after Laz Emporium staff locked up, expressing concern about one person inside. Christina can be seen through the gallery windows.

Twenty minutes later, “officers forced entry to the address where they found the person was in fact a mannequin,” a police spokesman for the outlet said. “The Met has a duty of care to respond when welfare is at stake.”

Lazarides, who helped popularize street and underground art in Britain through his collaboration with Banksy, said that clerk Hannah Blakemore “had just finished and went upstairs to make a cup of tea. She came down and found the door off its hinges and two confused cops!”

Blakemore said officers had been told that “the woman here hasn’t moved in the last two hours” and they suspected “a heart attack or an overdose.” Apparently a little mortified when they realized they had rushed to rescue an inanimate object, police scolded Blakemore for having a sculpture that looked so lifelike. “The work is to provoke, and that’s definitely achieved,” she added.

And it’s not the first time Christina caused a kerfuffle. When the sculpture was on display at the Decorex art and design fair in October, someone called an ambulance, Blakemore said.

said Lazarides Christina: “She certainly earned her money and worked tirelessly to get people to stop and see our booth, as well as pissing off a bunch of traditional guys. It’s nice to get it in front of the right people and to have such a positive reaction for them.”

He added, “The beige brigade wasn’t impressed that we had some damn old fruit screaming, ‘I don’t like it, I don’t like it’.”

Although the work is not for sale, it is estimated to be worth around £18,000 ($22,000). ® Cops break down art gallery doors to save sculptures • The Register

Rick Schindler

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