Artist Andy Holden visited the Great Pyramid of Giza when he was 12, and took home an illegal souvenir. He “broke off a lump of stone from the side”. He says that when his parents discovered his theft “they were furious and it ended up becoming this terrible guilt object”.
Now, in an effort to make amends Holden has created a colossal knitted replica of the small rock at Tate Britain. he also has a video piece in which he is shown climbing the Pyramid and returning the rock to the place from which it was stolen. This was a theft, one wonders if Holden approached the Egyptians about his installation and return. He’s doing the right thing now, though now he is profiting off of the theft, in a slightly more palatable way. The display now reveals the ease with which ancient monuments can be damaged, and perhaps will serve as a reminder for the next set of parents to keep a closer watch on their little looters at important monuments.
Roya Nikkah, Tate Show reveals artist’s pyramid theft, The Telegraph, Jan. 10, 2010.