Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson's home investigated by police after assault rifle prop spotted by passer-by

The deactivated M16 machine gun was being used by Sam Taylor-Johnson for an art project

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The Independent Online

Police were called to the home of artist and director Sam Taylor-Johnson and her actor husband Aaron last night after a passer-by spotted, through a window, an assault rifle.

Sam Taylor-Johnson had been given the deactivated M16 rifle to use as part of an art project.

It had been placed on a desk in the couple’s basement studio, but was spotted just before midnight last night by a member of the public who notified police.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that its firearms unit had been called and that no arrests were made.

The couple’s spokesperson said: “We can confirm that early this morning police were called to the London home of Mr and Mrs Taylor-Johnson following a report of a firearm on the premises by a concerned passer-by.

“The family were not present in the property at the time but the police gained entry via a key holder.

“The firearm was located in Sam Taylor-Johnson's basement studio and has been confirmed as a certified and fully decommissioned M16 assault rifle that was provided to Mrs Taylor-Johnson by the international charity Peace One Day as part of an art project entitled 'Peace One Day M16'.

“The project, curated by Jake Chapman, consists of new works by some of the most celebrated names in contemporary art all of whom are transforming fully decommissioned M16 assault rifles.”

The gun is due to be auctioned at Bonhams on 17 October.

Sam Taylor-Johnson is the director of the highly anticipated forthcoming adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.