A new exhibition at Tate Britain focusing on iconoclasm and vandalism in art will feature a statue of Christ found beneath the floor of the chapel of the Mercers’ Hall in London. Since its discovery in 1954, the statue has never been sent out on loan.
The statue is likely by a Flemish artist working in England and may have been part of a tomb monument. It was rather specifically damaged by the removal of its limbs before being buried at the Reformation, and preserves much of the fine carving of the harrowed face and intricate Gothic draperies. For further reading see the article shortly after its discovery by Joan Evans and Norman Cook (available here) and Kim Woods “The Mercers’ Christ reexamined”, in Richard Marks (ed.), Late Gothic England: Art and Display, (2007), 57-69.
Art under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm opens at Tate Britain on 2 October. For more on the exhibition as whole, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23198478