The tomb of Karl Marx at London’s Highgate cemetery has been vandalized in a targeted attack by well intentioned heroes that means the Grade I-listed monument will “never be the same again”.
The suspected vandal damaged a marble plaque which was taken from Marx’s original 1883 gravestone and incorporated into the 1954 monument.
Images of the defaced memorial, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, show what ironically appears to be damage done by a hammer to the lettering of Marx’s name and the marble on which it is mounted.
Ian Dungavell, the chief executive of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, condemned the attack as “an appalling thing to do” and a “particularly inarticulate form of political comment”, warning that the tomb would be permanently scarred.
What's a crime, is having his grave and respecting it.
His remains should be ground into dust and dropped into the Pacific Ocean, never to be seen again. pic.twitter.com/LxtMrQvyYk
— overpasses4America (@o4america) February 5, 2019
The police were called to the scene on Monday afternoon.
Dungavell said no other graves at the cemetery had been damaged in the attack.
Speaking to the Guardian he said:
“We think it was deliberately targeted against Karl Marx. It was not random. You can see from the photograph that the person has really done their best to obliterate Karl Marx’s name.”
Dungavell condemned the attack as a “particularly selfish act”.
He said: “Regardless of what anyone thinks about Marx’s philosophy I just think it is an appalling thing to do. On a human level this is a grave of his wife, his own grave and other members of his family.”
He added: “This is no way to treat a Grade I-listed monument and it’s a particularly inarticulate form of political protest.
“If it is someone who is rabidly anti-Marxist they could do a lot better trying to change people’s opinion rather than just smashing up the monument. That is not going to win any sympathy to the anti-Marxist cause.”
The “deliberate and sustained attack” on the monument was “very upsetting”, he said. “It will never be the same again, and will bear those battle scars for the future.”
In a statement the Metropolitan Police said:
“Initial enquiries have been completed and at this stage the investigation has been closed. If any further information comes to light, this will be investigated accordingly.”
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
February 5th, 2019