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Antony Gormley manhole cover lifted

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A manhole cover designed by artist Antony Gormley has been stolen from a Peckham street days after a blogger posted a story about it

The swirly-designed cover had lain in place on Maxted Road, a few yards from the area’s trendy Bellenden Road, for ten years, largely unnoticed until blogger Ian Mansfield posted its whereabouts.

Within a day of the blog on ianvisits.com the heavy piece of metal disappeared and Thames Water has now replaced it with a standard cover.

After receiving abuse on his site for advertising the location of the cover Mansfield wrote: ‘Art needs to be shared, both by visitors to see it, and by writers talking about it. It is the sharing that enriches us, and the stealing that leaves not just a hole in the ground, but a hole in our hopes for a happier city to live in.

‘If art in a public space is stolen, don’t direct your ire at the person who wrote about it — direct it at the thieves.’

The road where the cover was stolen is in Southwark Council’s Bellenden Renewal Area. Beginning in 1997 a corridor based around Bellenden Road (which runs roughly between East Dulwich and Peckham Rye stations) received a cash injection, with artists including Gormley, Tom Phillips and Zandra Rhodes proving bollards, lampposts and paving respectively.

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