Beckhams' nativity scene closed after vandal attack

Waxwork figures of Victoria and David Beckham dressed as Mary and Joseph in Madame Tussauds in London were damaged in an attack.

The figures were removed and the controversial nativity scene closed off because of the vandalism, said a spokeswoman for Madame Tussauds last night. "There was some damage caused to the figures of David and Victoria by a member of the public earlier today."

A man in his twenties queued behind other visitors before repeatedly punching the waxwork figures and escaping into the street. The spokeswoman could not confirm the extent of the damage, or say how it happened. The nativity scene also features Tony Blair, the Duke of Edinburgh and President George Bush as the three wise men, and Kylie Minogue as an angel.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England earlier criticised the scene. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said: "To have a very special part of Christianity depicted in this way and its most precious symbol, which is the coming of God into the world in Jesus Christ, seems to me to be not just disrespectful to Christians, it is also disrespectful to the heritage of Britain and does damage to the culture of this country."