A memorial to King Edward VII in Tower Hamlets, paid for by Jewish residents, has been desecrated with raw meat in what appears to be an anti-Semitic attack.
The drinking fountain and statue in Whitechapel, East London was attacked with raw chicken and slabs of red meat on Thursday evening. Jewish residents donated the memorial in honour of King Edward VII after the Boer war.
The inscription on the sculpture, designed by sculptor William Silver Frith, reads: “In grateful and loyal memory of Edward VII, Rex et Imperator, Erected by subscriptions raised by Jewish inhabitants of East London, 1911.”
Local resident Lauren Justice saw the vandalism of the Whitechapel Road war memorial on her way to work. She took pictures and posted them on Twitter alerting the council to the apparently anti-Semitic incident on Thursday morning.
— Lauren Justice (@itsme_LaurenJ) August 20, 2015
The Evening Standard newspaper reports her saying: “I was just coming into Whitechapel for work this morning – usually I do not see the memorial because it is concealed by market stalls, but today it was just covered in meat.
“I just think it is disgusting. It is a memorial. I do not know if they think it is funny or what, but it cannot be allowed to stay up like that. I find it offensive.”
When asked by the newspaper whether she thought the vandalism was anti-Semitic, she said: “That is the impression it gives.”
The Council has said it will arrange for the memorial to be cleaned up.
At the end of the 19th century the borough had one of the largest Jewish populations in the UK. Tower Hamlets today is the only local authority in the UK where the Muslim population is the largest single religious group, and 43 per cent of residents were born outside the UK.
Between 2010 and 2015, the borough was controlled by the country’s first Muslim mayor, Lutfur Rahman. However the election result was found null and void on the 23rd of April after he was found personally guilty of corrupt, illegal practices, undue religious influence and electoral fraud.