While the neo-socialist ideas of AOC, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have taken America's left by storm in recent days, not everyone seems enamored with the idea of wealth redistribution in general, and its founding father, Karl Marx, in particular.
The tomb of iconic German philosopher/genocidal demagogue (depending on one's point of view) Karl Marx, located at London’s Highgate cemetery, will "never be the same again" after it was vandalized in a hammer attack, the Guardian reports. The vandal damaged a marble plaque which was taken from Marx’s original 1883 gravestone and incorporated into the 1954 monument.
Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust published a twitter image showing the damaged marble plaque which honors Marx and some of his family members, including his wife. The damage to the lettering of Marx’s name can be clearly seen.
Karl Marx's memorial has been vandalised! It looks like someone has had a go at it with a hammer. It's a Grade I-listed monument; this is no way to treat our heritage. @MarxLibrary @HeritageCrime We will repair as far as possible. pic.twitter.com/6nY2TJOjw7— Highgate Cemetery (@HighgateCemeter) February 5, 2019
Trust CEO, Ian Dungavell, lashed out at the unidentified grave assailants, describing the attack as "an appalling thing to do" and warning that the tomb would be permanently scarred.
Dungavell told the Guardian that no matter what people thought of Marx’s philosophy, the hammer attack was an act of inhumanity, as "this is a grave of his wife, his own grave and other members of his family." He also condemned the attack as a “particularly selfish act,” and said that it was not a random attack, insisting it was "deliberately targeted against Karl Marx", as if that wasn't obvious.
It is unclear when the incident occurred. The damage was first noticed on Monday afternoon, but Dungavell said images posted on social media suggest it could have occurred early last week or before. “Just looking at social media posts from people who have visited, if you squint you can see that the damage was visible in some of those photographs,” he said.
The cost of the damage has yet to be estimated. Dungavell said: “I’m hoping we will be able to get a specialist stone conservator to consolidate the white marble and then if we can get the lead lettering back it might be that you don’t notice it.”
The destruction of the grave sparked outrage on Twitter, with supporters of the communist legend calling for an appeal to be set up. As RT notes, Europeans took the assaults especially hard, with left-wing Guardian journalist Owen Jones and children’s author and Corbynista, Michael Rosen, asking people to donate money to help with the costs of potential repair work.
Absolutely horrendous. If they set up an appeal, let’s donate. https://t.co/J52ydtJsr0— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) February 5, 2019
@Bookmarks_books I've asked the Cemetery if they are doing an appeal. If they do, perhaps that's something you might be interested in??? I would!— Michael Rosen (@MichaelRosenYes) February 5, 2019
The police were notified and are expected to begin an investigation.
The cemetery will be discussing repairing the uninsured memorial with its owners the Marx Grave Trust. It will also talk to the trust about the possibility of installing CCTV around the monument.
Dungavell said: “We might do a security review with the Marx Grave Trust and speak to the police about what should happen about any recommendations they may have." He pointed out that the Marx memorial has been repeatedly damaged since it was installed.
"It has attracted great controversy over the years. It has had paint daubed all over it. It has had people chanting at it, the bronze bust on the top has been dragged off with ropes, and there was even a pipe bomb set off in January 1970 that damaged the front face of it."
He added: “That’s the only consolation – he hasn’t been forgotten about.”
All the hammers in the world could never erase the ideas.— The 2nd Baron Quibell Groucho Marx (@GrouchoMarx79) February 5, 2019
Of course, cynics would note that if there ever was an opportunity to share the repair costs among the broader population, this is it.