It wasn’t a kinetic sculpture or performance piece: a man, clad in a grey tracksuit, climbed onto the roof of the National Gallery in London yesterday afternoon, wandering its length and—to the alarm of passerby and museum employees—dangling his legs off its edge.
The museum swiftly shuttered its doors and canceled its programming as police attempted to make contact with the individual. According to a statement from the National Gallery posted to its social media channels this morning, authorities “resolved” the situation. The museum expects to welcome the public back later today.
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Footage posted to social media shows the man, described by police as “distressed,” sitting on edge of the museum’s gable above the Sainsbury Wing. He reportedly climbed up last night and spent the night on the roof. After being alerted to his presence, police cordoned off Trafalgar Square and the immediate area. London’s Hazardous Area Response Team was also called to the site.
A spokesperson for the National Gallery confirmed to the Art Newspaper that police arrived to the scene at 2:35 p.m. yesterday and the galleries were evacuated roughly an hour later.
The museum posted on its social media channels around 8 a.m. EST that it would be reopening shortly, and that Summer on the Square, a performance event set to take place in in Trafalgar Square, was back on.