Tourists pose beside statue of Amy Winehouse
Tourists pose beside statue of Amy WinehouseiStock

A bronze statue of the late Jewish singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse was defaced when a sticker with the Palestinian Authority flag was placed over the statue’s Star of David necklace.

The management of Camden Market, where the statue is located, said the sticker was removed and that the incident had been reported to police, who are investigating.

“Camden Market remains first and foremost, a place of diversity – a global destination that welcomes everyone,” said the statement, which was posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Monday. “Any form of discrimination on our estate will not be tolerated.”

The Guardian reported that a “Bring them home now” dog tag, referring to the Israeli hostages taken by Hamas in its Oct. 7 invasion of Israel, was later briefly placed on the statue.

Winehouse, known for her striking voice and hit songs “Rehab” and “Back to Black,” was born to a Jewish family in North London. She achieved critical and commercial success with two albums before dying in 2011 at age 27 from alcohol poisoning.

The life-size statue was erected in September 2014, on what would have been Winehouse’s 31st birthday, and features her signature beehive hairdo. Winehouse spent much of the last few years of her life in London’s Camden neighborhood.

“We know this will have caused upset to many people,” London’s Metropolitan Police said regarding the defacing of the statue. “We are making enquiries with Camden Market to establish the circumstances and what evidence, such as CCTV footage, may be available.”

The statue is the latest Jewish site around the world to be defaced with anti-Israel graffiti since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7. Others include Portuguese and American synagogues, and a Holocaust research library in England.

The United Kingdom’s Campaign Against Antisemitism told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Palestinian flag sticker included the acronym FOA, which is believed to represent Friends of Al-Aqsa, a U.K.-based anti-Israel group.

Friends of Al-Aqsa claims to be “the most-followed anti-apartheid organization in the U.K." It organizes marches, rallies, and campaigns supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel, known as BDS.

“Covering the Star of David, a well-known symbol of Judaism, on the statue of a British Jewish singer, with a sticker of the Palestinian Authority flag is antisemitic,” a CAA spokesperson said in a statement. “So much for the ‘this is just criticism of Israel’ excuse we hear so often from antisemites who are too cowardly or ignorant to admit what they are.”