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Gormley sculptures begin to disappear from South Bank skyline

London SE1 website team

209,000 people visited Antony Gormley's Blind Light exhibition at The Hayward according to figures released this week. The 31 Event Horizon sculptures are now being removed.

Blind Light by Antony Gormley
Blind Light will now travel to New York
Event Horizon by Antony Gormley
One of the 31 Event Horizon casts of Antony Gormley's body

The exhibition, which closed on Sunday, is the most visited show by a living artist in the 39-year history of The Hayward – and the fifth most popular exhibition to be held at the gallery since it opened in 1968.

Blind Light was the most successful exhibition at The Hayward since the Toulouse-Lautrec show 16 years ago.

The centrepiece of the exhibition, a luminous glass room filled with a dense cloud of mist, will be shown in New York this autumn.

But it was Event Horizon, the 31 sculptural casts of the artist's body situated on rooftops and public walkways around the gallery, which really caught the public imagination this summer.

When they first appeared in April they sparked a series of calls to the emergency services from concerned bystanders.

A group on social networking site Facebook calling for the sculptures to be retained permanently has 946 members and a petition on the 10 Downing Street website has attracted 269 signatures

In June Event Horizon was the inspiration for a play broadcast on Radio 4.

Some of the sculpture have already been removed, with the rest to follow over the next couple of weeks.

The Hayward's next exhibition, The Painting of Modern Life, opens on 4 October.

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