Brooke's turn in the park

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The Independent Online
THEY KNOCKED DOWN Rachel Whiteread's House but only a philistine would take a bulldozer to Man in Suit on Soapbox, writes David Lister. The work, a live sculpture in Gieves and Hawkes, shows a Cabinet minister, mounted on wood, finger erect. Art critics advocating its inclusion among the Turner Prize entries were quick to defend the piece as an evocative commentary on contemporary social mores and morality, the empty spaces showing the distance between politics and the populace, the extended digit representing an unblinking belief in the politician's rectitude. However, residents in the Hyde Park area of central London called the work an eyesore and a hazard to traffic. A spokeswoman at the Department for National Heritage was ridiculed when she maintained that it was not meant to be art at all, but Peter Brooke, the Scretary of State, launching a competition yesterday for a redesign of the space around Marble Arch and Speakers' Corner.

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