Rooftop statues prompt suicide fear calls

LONDON Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:22pm BST

A sculpture by artist Antony Gormley stands on a rooftop overlooking the Hayward Gallery in central London May 1, 2007. 'Event Horizon' is an installation of 31 iron sculpture casts of the artist's body, located around central London and coinciding with his 'Blind Light' exhibition, which runs until August 19. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A sculpture by artist Antony Gormley stands on a rooftop overlooking the Hayward Gallery in central London May 1, 2007. 'Event Horizon' is an installation of 31 iron sculpture casts of the artist's body, located around central London and coinciding with his 'Blind Light' exhibition, which runs until August 19.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - Statues scattered across central London rooftops as part of artist Antony Gormley's latest exhibition are proving a serious headache for police.

Since the 31 life-sized replicas of Gormley's naked body went up in early May, police have been bombarded with telephone calls from members of the public reporting that they had spotted a would-be suicide jumper.

"We had several calls a day in the early stages and are now receiving two or three a day," a police spokeswoman said.

"In most cases, callers are questioned specifically about what they have seen and we are able to reassure them that they have seen one of the statues."

But suggesting that police have better things to do, she asked: "How long will the statues be in place?"

Gormley's exhibition at London's Hayward Gallery runs to August 19.

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