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Wednesday, 1 May, 2002, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Long Man gains 'fertility' glory
The Long Man of Wilmington
The Long Man of Wilmington was discovered in 1710
A vandal has added a 20-foot appendage to an ancient chalk figure, leaving the famous landmark rather well endowed.

The addition to The Long Man of Wilmington on the South Downs left tourists laughing on Wednesday, as they photographed him in all his new glory.

Experts believe the change to the figure, located near Eastbourne, East Sussex, could have been part of an ancient fertility ritual.

The attachment was painted on the grass and has not damaged the figure.

I am up in arms over this because I have always said the Long Man was a woman

White witch, Kevin Carlyon

Henry Warner, a director at the Archaeological Society, said: "This could have been a mindless act of vandalism or it could have been something to do with the Celtic Beltaine Festival.

"But, whoever did this, we can never condone vandalism at the Long Man."

White witch Kevin Carlyon, head of the British Coven of White Witches, said: "I am up in arms over this because I have always said the Long Man was a woman.

"I am going to put a spell on whoever did this, but I would not be surprised if there were quite a few naughty romps at the Long Man on May Day night."

The 70-metre tall white figure - the largest of its kind in Europe - was first discovered in 1710 and is believed to have been created in Anglo-Saxon times.

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28 Mar 02 | England
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