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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 23 February, 2020

'Senseless. Stupid. Ignorant': Karl Marx memorial in London vandalised for second time this month

Red paint was thrown over the tomb of the 19th century philosopher.

Marx. Karl Marx Memorial in Highgate Cemetery, London. Source:

THE MEMORIAL TO Karl Marx at Highgate Cemetery in London has been vandalised for a second time this month in what has been described as a “senseless, stupid, ignorant” act. 

Red paint was thrown over the tomb of the 19th century philosopher, best-known as co-author of The Communist Manifesto, 10 days after the memorial’s marble tablet was smashed. 

The most recent act of vandalism -  “A Memorial to Bolshevik Holocaust 1917-1953, 66,000,000 dead – makes several statements on either side of Marx’s memorial labeling the German-born political theorist an “architect of genocide, terror oppression and mass murder” and says that Marx’s “doctrine of hate” amounted to an “ideology of starving”. 

The memorial – which commemorates the burial site of Marx, his wife Jenny and other family members – was designed by Laurence Bradshaw and unveiled in 1956.

Ten days ago, the marble tablet below the large sculpted bust of Marx was damaged. “It looks like someone has had a go at it with a hammer,” the cemetery said on 5 February. “This is no way to treat our heritage.”

Marx died in 1883. His ideas would influence Vladimir Lenin who developed his own political ideology, Leninism, as a variant of Marxism.

In 1917, Lenin played a pivotal role in the October Revolution in Russia and became the leader of Soviet Russia until Joseph Stalin became leader in 1922. Stalin remained Head of State until his death in 1953. 

The most recent attack on the Marx Memorial has been heavily criticised by Highgate Cemetery. “Whatever you think about Marx’s legacy, this is not the way to make the point.”

No arrests have been made over either attack. 

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