June 22, 2012 / 2:08 PM / 7 years ago

Artist Kapoor's empty London home occupied

LONDON (Reuters) - A disused house belonging to sculptor Anish Kapoor, who designed the Olympic Park’s landmark red tower, has been illegally occupied by anti-capitalists for a one-day arts event, the group said on Friday.

British sculptor Anish Kapoor speaks to journalists after receiving the Japanese Award for the Arts, the Praerium Imperiale, at a hotel in central London, July 11, 2011. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Members of “Bread and Circuses” recently entered the five-storey Georgian building in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, one of central London’s most attractive and exclusive garden squares, to protest against corporate involvement in art.

It is the first in a series of planned protests by the group targeting next month’s London Olympics and other events.

Members include some veterans of the London Occupy anti-capitalist movement who pitched their tents outside St Paul’s Cathedral for four months earlier this year.

Kapoor’s spiralling Olympic tower is largely sponsored by the world’s largest steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal.

The 115-metre tall sculpture dominates the skyline, towering above a previously run-down part of east London.

A spokeswoman for the artist declined to comment.

Bread and Circuses takes its name from the Roman ploy to distract people from the collapse of the Empire, it said.

“The ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower and the staging of the Olympics are attempts to create public approval through diversion and distraction, whilst hiding the corporate influence on every aspect on our lives - even sports and the arts, not to mention democracy,” the group said in a statement.

Britons are currently struggling with a recession and severe public spending cuts.

Other publicity-seeking groups are expected to target the Olympics which begin on July 27, taking advantage of the fact that billions of television viewers will be watching.

Legal moves have begun to evict the Bread and Circuses group.

The historic building has been empty while Kapoor seeks planning permission, though it is not clear whether he intends to use it as a studio or as a home.

Reporting by Avril Ormsby

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