An intoxicated Brexit voter is accused of going on a racist rampage inside of a London museum where she destroyed a niqab sculpture and attacked its student artist.
Yasmeen Sabri said she was just putting the finishing touches on her “Walk a Mile in Her Veil” sculpture inside the Royal College of Art when the woman walked in and smashed it to the ground.
“She was saying ‘you don’t belong here, you don’t belong in England,’” Sabri recalled the June 29 incident to London’s Evening Standard. “She told me to go back to Saudi Arabia, even though I’m Jordanian.”
The interactive sculpture ― that reportedly cost $8,274 ― was meant to initiate empathy and awareness, providing guests with the opportunity to try on and experience the religious garment.
For the volatile 70-year-old critic, identified by local reports as Mikaela Haze, it apparently did anything but that.
“We voted to take our country back,” she allegedly shouted as she carried out the attack, a prosecutor said, according to the Standard.
Haze later pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated criminal damage but denied that her actions were racist, at least toward the artist.
“It wasn’t at her, I promise you,” she told reporters of her motive.
Sabri doesn’t appear so sure.
The art student told the Standard that she’s lived in London for the last six years but has never felt as unwelcome as she does now.
The attack happened just a few days after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, with anti-immigration being at the forefront for many of those wanting to leave.
“I do feel the vote has given people the green light to vocalize bigotry,” Sabri told Dazed. “My concerns are that people don’t realize the negative effect of social and mass media and the way it manipulates our perception. And we further decline into bigotry and hate.”
Sabri said she ultimately forgave Haze and asked to drop the charges against her.
“She’s a 70-year-old and was intoxicated,” she told the Standard. “It’s no excuse but I thought if I forgive her there’s more chance of me changing her mind about foreigners.”
Sabri was able to repair her sculpture, which is currently on display at London’s Somerset House.