Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Gormley


SCULPTOR Antony Gormley says he is to become a German citizen because of the ‘tragedy’ of Brexit.   

The 71-year-old London-born artist is able to apply for a switch of nationality because his mother was German.   

‘I’m embarrassed about Brexit – it’s a practical disaster, a betrayal of my parents’ and grandparents’ sacrifice to make a Europe that was not going to be divided again,’ he says. ‘It’s a tragedy.’   

He added: ‘Britain has fallen into the hands of self-seeking people who are not interested in public service but their personal careers, and that’s a shame.’   

Well, we can all agree with him on that last point. But as for his scorning of Brexit, many of us would beg to differ.   

Gormley made his announcement as he continued with plans to create seven ‘Brexit Giant’ statues off the coast of Brittany – huge iron figures looking towards Britain as the ‘lost island’ of Europe

Well, that’s all very arty, significant and symbolic. But, given the way things are with the corrupt, incompetent, squabbling, German-dominated EU, he should perhaps turn his giants round and have them gazing sadly at Europe as the ‘lost continent’.    

That way, they would also conveniently miss seeing the thousands of migrants in dinghies shunning the delights of the EU and risking death to get to our land of ‘betrayal’ and ‘tragedy’.  

It’s not as if Gormley hasn’t done badly from being born in Britain. He comes from a well-heeled family and was educated at public school, Cambridge University, and three leading art colleges before forging a lucrative career and finding worldwide fame.   

Doubtless his new status as a Deutscher will enhance his cred in rarefied luvvie-Remainer circles and presumably he will be moving his studios lock, stock and barrel to Germany and setting up home there.  

I know almost nothing about Gormley except his Angel of the North statue near Gateshead and his Another Place figures on the seashore at Crosby. I’ve seen both and I must admit I was impressed.   

I’ve done a quick session with Google Translate. And it’s not going to be quite the same when they’re renamed Der Engel des Nordens and Ein anderer Ort.   

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Henry Getley
Henry Getley
Henry Getley is a freelance journalist.

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