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Tomb of Karl Marx vandalised in London


LONDON: Vandals have damaged the London tomb of Karl Marx in what the cemetery said Tuesday appeared to be a sustained and centered attack.

A marble plaque with the names of Marx and his circle of relatives — the monument's oldest and maximum fragile phase — used to be repeatedly hit with a blunt steel tool, Ian Dungavell, who runs the cemetery consider, instructed AFP on Tuesday.

The harm used to be reported to the police on Monday.

"The name of Karl Marx seems to have been particularly singled out, so it wasn't just a random smashing up of a monument — it seems a very targeted attack," said Dungavell, leader executive of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, the charity which runs the graveyard.

German progressive philosopher Marx moved to London in 1849 and lived in the British capital for the rest of his life. His theories become the foundation for communism. He died on March 14, 1883, elderly 64.

The granite slab monument in north London, 12 ft (3.7 metres) tall and crowned with a bronze bust of Marx, used to be funded in 1956 via the Communist Party of Great Britain.

The inset 1880s marble plaque that has been damaged came from the original, simpler grave.

The lettering and stonework used to be damaged, in particular round Marx's identify, the date of his wife's death and the identify of their grandson Harry Longuet, who died elderly 4.

"I'm personally upset by the physical violence. There was a person there not once, but again and again banging at this with some blunt metal instrument," said Dungavell.

"It's particularly naive to think that by a few hammer blows, you're going to encourage sympathy for anti-Marxist views."

The monument has been attacked prior to. The bust has been pulled off, it used to be attacked with a pipe bomb in the 1970s and it has been daubed with paint and slogans.

"It's battle-scarred and has all the marks of a rich and varied life," said Dungavell.

"It's not irreparable but it will never be the same again."

He said most people would to find attacking a grave repugnant, in particular as it used to be also the tomb of his wife and different members of the family.

The tomb is a Grade I-listed monument, that means it is among the maximum necessary sites in Britain that will have to be protected and preserved as a heritage asset.

It is owned via the Marx Grave Trust, a wing of the Marx Memorial Library in London.


Dungavell said the restore attempts will require a consultant stone restorer and an expert to reinstate the lettering.


The upkeep would in all probability have to incorporate cleaning off the rust marks, consolidating the outside in order that moisture ingress in the cracks does no longer cause long run harm, and in all probability cosmetically toning down the bright white newly exposed marble so it blends in.


Police said they had finished their initial inquiries and the investigation had been closed. No arrests have been made.


"If any further information comes to light, this will be investigated accordingly," a police spokesman said.


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