St. Paul’s Cathedral in London has been closed to visitors for the first time since World War II.
An encampment of protesters allied with the Occupy London Stock Exchange, or OccupyLSX, movement has already brought a major city institution to a temporary standstill, but it’s of a different sort, perhaps, from what protesters would ideally want to bring about.
Although OccupyLSX demonstrators encamped outside one of London’s most famous landmarks, St. Paul’s Cathedral, have been cooperating with building officials, the latter party decided to cancel services for Sunday and close the cathedral to the general public Friday, for reasons that protesters respectfully contested in a statement that day. —KA
It is the only the second time Sunday services have been cancelled - the other time was during World War II, when the cathedral was closed in 1941 for four days during the Blitz.
Last year the cathedral earned an average of £22,600 a day from commercial activities, which included income from 820,000 paying visitors.
A statement from the protesters said: “Since the beginning of the occupation six days ago, OccupyLSX have tried hard to accommodate the cathedral’s concerns in any way we can.
“Over the past 48 hours, we have completely re-organised the camp in response to feedback from the fire brigade and we have also accepted the presence of two large barriers to preserve access to the side door of the Cathedral.
“This afternoon we have been told, in a telephone call, by the fire brigade, that they have not issued any new requirements above and beyond those already communicated directly to the camp. Therefore, there are no outstanding fire safety issues.”