- BBC News World
London police force their way into a city center art gallery to rescue an unconscious person, only to discover seconds later that it was an art installation.
When officers approached the woman, who was slumped on a table in the Laz Emporium gallery in the Soho neighborhood, they saw that she was actually a doll made of packing tape and stuffing.
The realistic sculpture is a depiction of gallerist Steve Lazarides’ sister, Kristina, with her head in a soup bowl.
He was the one who commissioned the work to his friend, the American artist Mark Jenkins, who makes “provocative street sculptures”.
Earlier, Jenkins had made a sculpture of a floating body in a canal in Amsterdamwhich also led to several calls from the emergency services, the gallery owner explained.
Lazarides commissioned the sculpture to adorn or add an artistic touch to a gallery table.
“I didn’t want to have a $24,000 table without something fun or distressing to complement it,” he said.
“It’s there to make people smile or be horrified, to provoke a reaction and grab people’s attention. People always stop and watch the play and it’s great because they stay and walk into the store.”
He added that the store clerk, who was on site at the time of the police visit, had gone upstairs to make herself a cup of tea and was surprised to find two confused policemen and a forced door.
As explained by a police spokesman (Met Police, as the force is known in London), they received a call on November 25 that expressed “concern for the well-being of a person in a closed commercial premises” on Lexington Street.
“At approximately 17:57 GMT, officers entered the home where they discovered that the person was, in fact, a mannequin.”
“The Met has a duty to respond when there is concern about the well-being (of a person)”, they added for all explanation.
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