Nude man brings central London to a standstill

Published: 24 November, 2012 09:55 IST | Agencies |

A part of Whitehall closed off as police tried to coax a naked unidentified man straddling a statue

A mystery man brought Whitehall to a standstill yesterday after he climbed to the top of a historic 30-foot statue — and stripped naked.

Police were forced to close an entire section of the road — which runs between the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square in the heart of the capital — while specialist officers tried to coax the man down.

A balancing act: The naked man ignoring the cops’ pleas continued to sit atop the Duke of Cambridge statue. At one point, he even balanced acrobatically — with his arms outstretched on the statue. Pic/Getty Images

The spectacle began when the man scaled the life-size memorial to Prince George, the First Duke of Cambridge and a distant cousin of the Queen, fully clothed before stripping off.

The man, thought to be in his 30s, remained on his perch apparently ignoring officers’ pleas. At one point he balanced acrobatically — with his arms out stretched — upon the Duke’s feathered plume, before sitting on his head.

An eyewitness, Savannah Severn, said: “I was on a school trip, on my way to the National Portrait Gallery and I looked up and saw the naked man on the statue. There were police on horses pushing the crowd back and firemen were trying to get him down. I was really shocked but it was quite funny. It looked like he was posing and he hard his arms stretched out wide.”

The naked man sent Twitter buzzing with speculation, with some questioning whether his nude antics where a parliamentary protest. Others joked that the man may have had a few too many drinks at lunchtime.

Scotland Yard said it was believed that the man might have a knife as officers shut down part of the road, near the heart of Westminster in central London.  

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