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UK

COVID face mask painted on giant English chalk figure

LONDON (Reuters) - British police are searching for the vandal or vandals who painted a COVID-19 face mask on the figure of a mysterious giant carved into a hillside in southern England.

The Long Man of Wilmington, a 235-foot high chalk outline holding a white stick in each hand, is protected by law as an ancient monument. Its exact origins are disputed but many archaeologists date it to the Anglo-Saxon or medieval periods.

“Whilst this damage may have been perpetrated for humour or some other reason, the actions that have been taken are unacceptable,” said Tom Carter, a sergeant with Sussex Police.

“The Long Man of Wilmington is protected by law as a Scheduled Ancient Monument for its historical significance.”

A Reuters photographer who visited the site on Saturday afternoon said the mask had been removed.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by David Holmes

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