Statues 'should be micro-chipped'
Published 04/10/2011 | 19:17
Statues of famous people around London should be micro-chipped to prevent them being stolen by metal thieves, a former Labour minister has suggested.
Lord Rooker said at question time in the House of Lords that there is currently a "high level of thefts from public buildings and railway lines".
He asked ministers: "Can you reassure us that all the statues are properly secured, micro-chipped so that if anybody does start any tricks to take them away, cut them up and export them, we would know about it before it happens?"
Amid laughter, junior communities and local government minister Baroness Hanham said she could not give him such reassurance as she hadn't the "slightest idea" whether public statues around the capital were micro-chipped.
Labour's Lord Howarth of Newport, a former Tory MP who switched to Labour in 1995, said it had been the custom to honour great statesmen with statues raised by public subscription.
"Which members of the coalition Cabinet do you think the country will be most enthusiastic in due course to honour in this way?" he asked, to further laughter.
Lady Hanham told him: "I think we are going to require an enormous amount of land - because I would expect them all to be so honoured."