Karl Marx's grave 'damaged beyond repair' in hammer attack at London cemetery

'I'm really cross about it because it's a particularly inarticulate form of protest and it's not going to win any fans'

Colin Drury
Tuesday 05 February 2019 17:53
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Who was Karl Marx?

A memorial at the London grave of Karl Marx has been attacked with a hammer and damaged beyond repair, a charity has said.

The marble plaque at Highgate Cemetery had been repeatedly smashed with the tool, the trust which looks after the graveyard revealed on Tuesday.

"His name has been singled out – although the person wasn't particularly co-ordinated," said Ian Dungavell, chief executive of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust.

"It will never be the same again, and will bear those battle scars for the future.”

He added the incident, which occurred over the weekend, had been a “deliberate and sustained attack”.

The Grade I listed plaque actually originates in the philosopher’s German homeland.

It was first used on the grave of his wife Jenny von Westphalen in 1881 and was only moved to the UK when the remains of both she and Marx were reinterred at Highgate in 1954 because the original grave was felt unsuitable for a person of such historic significance.

The monument is now owned by the Marx Grave Trust, which is represented by the Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell, which will make any decisions about future repairs, Mr Dungavell said.

But he added that the monument's heritage listing means "you don't rush in to do these things quickly".

He said: "I'm really cross about it because it's a particularly inarticulate form of protest and it's not going to win any fans.

"On a human level, I'm upset when anyone destroys a grave. To do something so mindless is particularly upsetting."

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A spokesperson for London’s Met Police said: "No arrests have been made. Initial inquiries have been completed and at this stage the investigation has been closed. If any further information comes to light, this will be investigated accordingly."

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