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 political 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.