Piccadilly Circus Eros snow globe deflates in storm

image captionThe "snow globe" deflated as high winds and heavy rain hit London

A giant "snow globe" around a sculpture in central London has deflated after strong winds battered the capital.

The Christmas decoration around the Eros statue in Piccadilly Circus collapsed on Monday evening.

Westminster Council said the PVC membrane was "tested vigorously" before it was put in place and it was investigating the incident.

Eyewitness Jac Timms said the winds blew the 30ft (9m) globe on to Eros' bow, tearing a hole in the structure.

"The snow blew out of the globe all over Piccadilly Circus, people were covered," he said.

image captionThe world-famous statue was encased to protect it from vandals

The globe around the sculpture had internal fans that blew around 'snowflakes'.

Westminster City Council said the structure was designed to deflate if any problems were detected.

The 130-year-old sculpture by Alfred Gilbert is commonly known as the Eros statue - after the Greek god of love - but is actually of Anteros, the deity's brother.

It was encased in the "snow globe" in November to protect it from vandals and it was due to remain in place until January.

A council spokesman said: "As soon as we were aware there was an issue it was in the public interest to remove it straight away, and we are working with our contractors to establish the exact cause of what happened."

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