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Cargo ship that ran aground off Kent coast narrowly missed Gormley statue

The Islay Trader became stuck in front of the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate in the early hours of Sunday.

A 75-metre cargo ship narrowly missed a Sir Antony Gormley statue when it ran aground off the Kent Coast.

The Islay Trader, a Bermudan-flagged ship with a load of broken glass, became stuck in the early hours of Sunday next to the statue in the sea in front of the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate.

It was later refloated with the aid of a tug.

The statue is one of three loaned by the artist to the Folkestone Triennial arts festival from his Another Time series of 100 solid cast-iron figures which have been exhibited around the world.

A Coastguard spokeswoman said: “At 2.20pm the Maritime and Coastguard Agency reported that the Islay Trader had been successfully refloated at high water with the aid of a tug, and towed to deeper water.

“The vessel will now conduct a survey to assess its suitability for onward passage to Belgium, where it will offload its cargo and then enter a dry dock in order to conduct a full inspection.”

The spokeswoman earlier said the fuel tanks had not been damaged and the risk to the environment was “very low”.

A previous installation of 31 of the statues, based on Sir Antony’s naked body, caused concerns when they were installed on rooftops in New York in 2010 when passers-by feared they were people considering suicide.

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