Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North in Brexit dispute

In anticipation of the referendum on 23 June, when the British public will vote for the country to either stay or leave the European Union, an anti-Europe group has enraged Sir Antony Gormley after using his infamous Angel of the North statue for a politick stunt, projecting their slogan “Vote Leave, Take Control” next to the symbol of a red ballot box across the 54-metre wingspan.

The Angel of the North, situated in Gateshead, is one of the UK’s most famous art works, and, ironically in regards to the pro-Brexit group ‘Vote Leave’, Gormley’s 175ft tall statue was actually developed with funding of £800,000 from the European Union. Turner Prize winner Gormley (who in 1994 also added a clause to the original agreement when work on the statue began, refusing permission for the statue to be lit-up or illuminated) has had his lawyers write a letter to the pro-Brexit group, claiming the “manipulation” of the statue’s “instantly recognisable character.”

The letter states: “As an artist with a substantial reputation in the United Kingdom and worldwide, it amounts to passing off to suggest a false endorsement by, or connection with, Sir Antony in connection with the activities and political purposes of Vote Leave Limited,” the Telegraph reported.

The letter continues: “Presumably the reputation of the work and its instantly recognizable character were the reasons that it was selected for the projection or digital manipulation … their use of the Angel of the North as an advertising medium is both unlawful and damaging to the integrity of this important work.”

According to a poll published by the Telegraph this week, 52 percent of Britons planning to vote in the referendum on 23 June support Brexit, while 45 percent support staying in the EU.