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Police were surprised about what they found when they forced their way into an art gallery to rescue an “unconscious” woman who was slumped over a desk. Officers from the Metropolitan Police went to the Laz Emporium in Soho, central London, after being called by a concerned member of the public.
The person who called said they thought there was someone “in distress” inside.
When the police arrived they saw that a lifeless person was slumped over a desk and so, with the gallery closed for the evening, they forced entry to the premises.
But when they got in they discovered that the woman they were rescuing was actually an £18,000 sculpture called Kristina, which was part of an art installation.
It was created by American artist Mark Jenkins and depicts the sister of the gallery’s owner, Steve Lazarides, passed out with her face submerged in a bowl of soup.
Speaking to Artnet News, Mr Lazarides, who is graffiti artist Banksy’s former agent, said a gallery employee had locked up for the day and had gone upstairs for a cup of tea.
Once they came down again they found the front door was off its hinges and there were two confused police officers.
Artnet says that officers told the employee that someone had reported the woman had not moved for ‘the last two hours’ and that officers assumed she’d had “a heart attack” or “overdosed”.
The sculpture, which can be seen through the window of the gallery, has surprised people before.
The gallery assistant Hannah Blakemore says that paramedics were called when it appeared at London art and design fair Decorex in October.
And she said the police officers lectured her for having such a lifelike looking sculpture on display.
She added: “The work is to provoke and it’s definitely achieving that.”
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A Met Police spokesperson told Artnet News: “[Officers] forced entry to the address, where they uncovered that the person was in fact a mannequin.
“The Met has a duty of care to respond when there is a welfare concern.”
The work is on show at the gallery until December 24.
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