September 9, 2009

Squatters move into ex-embassy for art

Six squatters who have taken up residence in the former Mexican Embassy in London say their presence in the building is part of an art project.

The squatters, who range in age from 24 to 34, said they moved into the facility, which is actually a pair of six-story mansions, three weeks ago and are planning to open the facility from Friday to Sept. 20 as an art gallery and theater with guest artists and performers, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

The group's spokesman, Dan Simon, 31, said he and his fellow squatters water blasted the front of the building and scrubbed dust and other filth from the inside.

It's been empty since 2004, Simon said of the facility. We provide cost-free round-the-clock security and property maintenance. One of the wonderful things about our work is we pass on benefits to people. We do not see ourselves as squatters. We are pursuing a very real project.

However, representatives for the owners of the building, believed to be an aristocratic family, have threatened the squatters with eviction and said they are planning legal action at the end of the month.