England's Highest Mountain Shortened by Artist/Vandal

By Gary Cutlack on at

One of today's so-called modern artists has taken a hammer to England's tallest mountain, shaving an inch or two of rock off the top of Scafell Pike and installing it on a shelf in a gallery so that people in London can imagine what a mountain is like. Those who go outside a lot and walk around Cumbria are not best pleased.

The work was created by rock terrorist Oscar Santillan, who has called his bit of mountain art The Intruder. The chip of rock is on display in a gallery in south London, with the owner of the space saying he's had over 50 abusive emails and phone calls from people furious about the apparent endorsement of the destruction of nature.

The gallery's description beneath the chip off the peak says: "Departing from the tradition of land art in making often major modifications to the natural landscape, The Intruder presents an inch of stone carefully removed from the English countryside. At a glance it is seemingly insignificant and yet the material is carefully presented. Scaling the 3,028ft Scafell Pike in the Lake District, the artist has taken the uppermost inch of the highest mountain in England."

The artist explained himself, saying: "I do empathise with those who are truly concerned with the conservation of the British mountains. Hopefully this controversy becomes an opportunity to bring attention to these important concerns, rather than debating about a one-inch rock."  [Standard]