Nelson effigy and 17 other bronzes around London given bespoke gas masks to highlight need for improved air quality
Two Greenpeace activists have clambered Nelsons column in center London to fit a gas mask to the effigy as part of a city-wide complain over air pollution.
Alison Garrigan and Luke Jones scaped its safety and scaled the 52 -metre monument to Admiral Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square soon after dawn on Monday.
Once at the top they fitted a monstrous gas mask to Nelsons face to spotlit the dangerous levels of lethal breeze in the capital.
When they eventually climbed down after spending several hours on the line they were arrested on thought of generating criminal detriment by police who had been watching the stunt uncover from the foot of the landmark.
Garrigan was one of six women who scaled the Shard skyscraper in 2013 in a Greenpeace protest.
A spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said: Police in Westminster were called to Trafalgar Square at 04:11 hours on Monday 18 April after a group of six demonstrators were learnt trying climb Nelsons column with a placard. At around 09:00 the demonstrators came down from the tower two parties were arrested on surmise of criminal damage.
Greenpeace activists fitted gas masks to another 17 statues in the capital city, including Oliver Cromwell in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament, Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, Queen Victoria opposite Buckingham Palace, Thierry Henry at Arsenals Emirates stadium and Eross plinth at Piccadilly Circus.
Paul Morozzo, a 49 -year-old Greenpeace campaigner, who helped fix masks to effigies of Eros, Queen Victoria and Boudicca and was not arrested, denied that the stunt was impertinent to Londons heritage.
We were really careful not to damage any of the statues and we think it is legitimate road of making a level. It was artistic , nothing was damaged, and its not permanent, Morozzo told the Guardian.
A parliamentary spokeswoman had reaffirmed that activists breached a insurance fence at the House of Commons before fitting a gas mask to Cromwells statue.
Four activists were arrested on surmise of breaching the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act. Greenpeace appointed them as Victoria Henry, who likewise scaled the Shard in 2013, Phil Ball, Hannah Boustred and Chris Till.
Two other activists, Andrew McParland and France Myles, were arrested after they clambered the Duke of Wellington memorial at Hyde Park Corner.
A spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said: At nearly 06:25 two objectors scaled the Cromwell statue in Parliament Square. Shortly after 07:00 both voluntarily came down and were arrested. Two other people were arrested at the situation in matters relating to incident.
At around 08:15 hrs two beings were arrested after scaling the Duke of Wellington Memorial in Hyde Park Corner. Both were arrested on distrust of criminal damage.
A spokesperson for Westminster city council said its auditors were working to remove the concealments from locates all over the sphere, but that it was not responsible for Trafalgar Square or Parliament Square.
At the time of writing Nelsons disguise remained attached.
Morozzo said he was surprised that he and his accomplice and fellow Greenpeace campaigner Sebastian Bock had not been stopped by the police.
We did Eros, Queen Victoria and Boudicca. All the other squads got arrested. We were just lucky, but some of our statues were easier so we were faster.
Eros was difficult because we had to be careful not to touch the bronze, we didnt want to bend it. Seb poised on my shoulders and applied the mask on without touching the statue.
Im two stone heavier than him. Im a qualified and experienced climber, but Ive got two children and do a lot less these days.
I was expecting to get arrested at the Queen Victoria statue in front of Buckingham Palace, but we were quick and we out of line of vision of some police officers with machine guns at the gates.
We were wearing hi-vis vests which had statue cleansing department written on them but Im not sure anyone would have believed that given that everything is privatised these days.
Morozzo said Greenpeace had been planning the stunt for about a month and that the masks were usages realise for each bronze by the master Chris Kelly.
The masks are made of wheat-based plastic which can be moulded into different shapes when you heat it. Each disguise speaks to the character of the effigy, so Churchills disguises had filters in the forms of a bowler hat and a radio orator, and the filters on the Eros mask were two desire hearts.
Despite the arrests of my honourable colleagues, Morozzo said Greenpeace viewed the stunt as a success.
Air pollution is an invisible question these days unlike the working day of smog 9,500 parties die early because of airborne pollutants in London. So it was really smart way of forming whats invisible visible and accompanying greater attention to it.
The Greenpeace campaigner Areeba Hamid said the concerted action was to highlight the need for pressing legislation to tackle air pollution.
She said: Monitoring would point out that if these statutes were real parties, many of them would often be breathing hazardous, illegal air. Kitting everyone out with appearance masks is not the solution, instead, we need to see real political act from the new mayor. We necessary a clean breeze zone covering a large part of the city. Whoever acquires the election has to stop the talk and start the action.
Current proposals for an ultra-low emissions zone to enter into force in 2020 simply offerprotection from hazardous breeze to residents and passengers in area one, Greenpeace said.
Hamid lent: At schools across London children are being forced to breathe illegal, dangerous breeze. Londoners need greener and affordable modes of public transport, together with air pollution alerts and an efficient and adequate arrangement to measure breeze character. The next mayor should begin a consultation on a clean air area following the end of the election.