London- It is still England’s highest mountain, but Scafell Pike is ever so slightly smaller now after an artist stole the top inch of the summit to display in a gallery. Oscar Santillan , 34, was accused of vandalism after removing the stone pinnacle of the 3,209ft Lake District peak for an exhibition in London.

His so-called “suggestive gesture,” said to reflect the way humans have imposed their cultural categories over nature, has infuriated local tourism chiefs and walkers.

Ian Stephens, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said: “This is taking the mickey and we want the top of our mountain back.”

Terry Abraham, who made a film chronicling a year in the life of the mountain, said: "The message of my film was to inspire people and enlighten them about the heritage of the area and to treat it with respect.

“But then you get this artist who has essentially vandalised the mountain which sends out completely the wrong message."

Santillan, a visual artist from Ecuador, took the stones and placed them on a plinth to create an artwork called The Intruder which is being exhibited at the capital’s independent Copperfield Gallery.

Courtesy: Telegraph