LONDON (Reuters) – A British burglar who stumbled on a work of art that he mistook for a human head in a pickle jar was so spooked that he summoned the police to a house he had robbed.
Conceptual artist Richard Morrison had made the head from bacon wrapped around a wire frame floating in a jar of formaldehyde.
After the burglar phoned, police bashed down Morrison’s door to raid his house, near Liverpool in northern England. Morrison returned home to find that his house had been broken into twice, once by the burglar and once by the police.
“In light of the information received, it was of vital importance that we investigated, to ensure that there was nothing suspicious,” Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Naylor of Merseyside Police said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The reason for the damage was explained to Mr Morrison and we apologized. Arrangements are in place to replace the door.”
Morrison told The Times newspaper he understood why the burglar might have been confused by his artwork.
“It’s obviously a very macabre piece of work and I suppose at a glance it looks like a head, but I never expected it to get this reaction,” he said. “I gather the police were bracing themselves for a ‘Silence of the Lambs’ moment when they broke into my flat.”
Morrison said the police told him the scare had set the burglar on the straight and narrow.
“He had a crisis of confidence and confessed his crimes to his mother.”