After standing naked on the beach for a decade, a famous group of statues have been given a bright new look – but the artist who made them isn’t impressed.
At least nine of Sir Antony Gormley’s iron men on Crosby beach in Merseyside have been painted with colourful outfits by a mystery artist.
One now has a pink polka dot bikini and another has bright orange shorts.
Sir Antony has asked for the paint to be removed and many locals and visitors have condemned it as vandalism.
A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “We want everyone to enjoy and interact with the impressive Antony Gormley statues on Crosby beach, which are synonymous with Sefton.
“However, following this incident, we have been contacted directly by Mr Gormley with a view of removing these permanent decorations which we will now look into.”
The spokesman said he knew of nine sculptures that have been painted – out of the 100 that stand looking out to sea.
Some of those that have been “decorated” are marked with the name Mokie.
One bears the words “I am art” on the back of a new painted blue shirt.
The figures – which were all modelled on Sir Antony himself – are often adorned by visitors with real shirts, hats and sunglasses.
But any added accessories are normally easily removable – the only other “permanent” additions being the barnacles that cling to the cast iron when the tide comes in.
The artwork, titled Another Place, was installed in 2005 and the figures were originally meant to move to New York the following year – but have stayed looking out to the Irish Sea.
They are now among Sir Antony’s best-loved creations, along with other sculptures including his Angel of the North.