Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Artist Attacks Angel Referendum Stunt

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Artist Attacks Angel Referendum Stunt

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Thompson Chief Reporter craig.thompson01@trinitymirror.com

TYNESIDE'S most famous work of art has been hijacked in a political stunt, sparking outrage from its creator.

Artist Antony Gormley has fired off warning letter through his solicitors after the Vote Leave group projected its message and logo across the 54m (177ft) wingspan of the Angel of the North.

While the group hoped the move would boost their anti-EU message in the run up to the June 23 in-out referendum, it has also landed them in legal trouble from Angel sculptor Mr Gormley.

When contacted, the artist was on his way to Beijing, with a spokesperson saying he would not be commenting on the issue but is "discussing next steps with his legal team".

However, we have seen a copy of a legal letter sent by Mr Gormley's solicitors to the CEO of the Vote Leave group.

The letters 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 by connection with, Sir Antony in connection with the activities and political purposes of Vote Leave Limited.

"Presumably the reputation of the work and its instantly recognisable character were the reasons that it was selected for the projection or digital manipulation."

This is not the first time misuse of the landmark has angered the sculptor.

In 2014, the artist criticised a stunt by Morrisons where the supermarket giant projected a giant baguette on to the Angel, branding it as "shocking and stupid".

The supermarket had hoped to kick start a new price cutting move by projecting the baguette on to the Angel's wings as part of an advertising campaign. The moved caused widespread outrage, prompting Morrisons to apologise.

The publicity campaign was strongly criticised by Mr Gormley, who has always wanted the artwork to stand without any interference, isolated and unlit. …

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