'Snow globe' proposed to shield Eros statue from vandals

Artist's impression of Eros statue 'snow globe'
Image caption If approved, the PVC membrane globe would be installed in time for Christmas 2013

London's Eros statue could be encased in a 36ft (11m) high inflatable "snow globe" to save it from vandals, it has been announced.

The Piccadilly Circus statue has been a target of drunken vandals in the run-up to Christmas, Westminster council said.

An planning application for the PVC membrane globe has been submitted with a decision expected "in coming days", the council said.

If approved, the globe would be installed in time for Christmas 2013.

'Festive touch'

Conservative Councillor Robert Davis, deputy leader of the council, said: "We believe this is a exciting project which will add a real sense of entertainment and wonder around an iconic landmark at Christmas.

"Eros will be able to add its own festive touch to the West End."

The snow globe would provide a "historical precedent and provide a high quality structure to protect Eros over the Christmas period," said a spokesman for Wildstone, the outdoor advertising firm which drew up the plans.

The statue was first vandalised as far back as 1937 when a man attempted to scale it, damaging the figure's bow.

More recently, the archer's bow was bent and its string broke, as Barcelona fans celebrated their club's Champions League win in 2011

The statue has previously been protected over the festive period by being shrouded in advertising hoardings.

Created by sculptor Alfred Gilbert, the statue was erected in 1892 to commemorate Anthony Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, whose work for the poor led to calls for a memorial in his honour.

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