National Gallery London in ‘ongoing police incident’ after man scales roof


The National Gallery in London is dealing with an “ongoing police incident” after a man, described by police as “distressed”, climbed onto the roof of the gallery yesterday afternoon.

Footage shared on social media showed a man dressed in a grey tracksuit standing and sitting on the edge of the gallery’s gable and fascias above the Sainsbury Wing.

There have been no further updates on the man’s location, so it is likely he spent last night on the roof and has not yet come down. A Metropolitan police spokesperson confirmed to media yesterday they were attempting to “make contact” with him. Police have asked the general public to avoid the area.

A heavy police presence was visible at the gallery this morning, with Trafalgar Square and the surrounding area cordoned off and closed to the public. Police confirmed to media that the Hazardous Area Response Team is on site.

Police were called to the gallery at 2.35pm on 22 August and the gallery was evacuated at 3.45pm yesterday. It will remain closed until further notice, a spokesperson for the National Gallery confirmed to The Art Newspaper.

Yesterday afternoon the City of Westminster Police wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Due to an ongoing incident, parts of Trafalgar Square near the National Gallery are closed. Please avoid the area.”

Summer on the Square, a performance event scheduled to take place in Trafalgar Square this week, has been cancelled.


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