The tomb of iconic German philosopher Karl Marx, a grave visited by tens of thousands each year, will allegedly “never be the same again,” after it was vandalized in a suspected hammer attack.
Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust have published an image on social media showing the damaged marble plaque which honors Marx and some of his family members, including his wife. Damage to the lettering of Marx’s name can be clearly seen.
The chief executive of the trust, Ian Dungavell, has hit out at what he describes as “an appalling thing to do” and warned that the tomb, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, would be permanently scarred.
Dungavell told the Guardian that no matter what people thought of Marx’s philosophy, it was an act of inhumanity, as “this is a grave of his wife, his own grave and other members of his family.”
He condemned the attack as a “particularly selfish act,” and claimed that it was not a random attack, insisting it was “deliberately targeted against Karl Marx.”
The destruction of the grave sparked outrage on Twitter, with supporters of the communist legend calling for an appeal to be set up. Left-wing Guardian journalist Owen Jones and children’s author and Corbynista, Michael Rosen, have asked people to donate money to help with the costs of potential repair work.
@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
All the hammers in the world could never erase the ideas.
— The 2nd Baron Quibell Groucho Marx (@GrouchoMarx79) February 5, 2019
Dungavell speculated that the suspected attacker who damaged the memorial did so with a blunt instrument, such as a hammer, wielded in the left hand, because the marks “move down from left to right.”
The police have been notified and are expected to begin inquiries on Tuesday.
Marx continues to be a divisive individual. Proponents of his work include figures within the UK Labour Party. Leader Jeremy Corbyn has described the revolutionary socialist as a “great economist,” while Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says there is “a lot to learn” from Marx’s seminal work, ‘Das Kapital’.
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