National Trust blasts Borat PR team for 'defacing' Cerne Abbas Giant

The National Trust today slammed the 'defacement' of the famous Cerne Abbas Giant chalk figure following an apparent stunt to promote the new Borat film.

The 180ft chalk hill figure in Dorset had a huge face mask placed over its genitals like the 'mankini' made famous in the 2006 movie with the slogan: 'Wear mask. Save live'.

The addition is thought to have been one of various PR stunts carried out by producers of the sequel which began streaming on Amazon Prime Video today. 

But following the stunt yesterday morning, furious officials at the charity - which protects the hillside - said they did not give anyone permission to alter the figure.  

Images of Sacha Baron Cohen's character have appeared on landmarks across the UK, wearing a medical face mask-styled mankini to promote the film's release.

The Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset had a huge face mask placed over its genitals yesterday like the 'mankini' made famous in the 2006 movie Borat with the slogan: 'Wear mask. Save live'

The Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset had a huge face mask placed over its genitals yesterday like the 'mankini' made famous in the 2006 movie Borat with the slogan: 'Wear mask. Save live'

How the 180ft chalk giant in Dorset which is owned by the National Trust appears normally

How the 180ft chalk giant in Dorset which is owned by the National Trust appears normally

These included Edinburgh Castle, the Tower of London, the Angel of the North and Arthur's Seat. The mask has since been removed from the Cerne Abbas Giant. 

Earlier this week, a huge inflatable Borat was floated down the River Thames in London - but the National Trust hit out today at the 'ill-conceived PR stunt'.

A National Trust spokesman said: 'We do not encourage the defacing of the Cerne Abbas Giant as any such action may damage this fragile site, whether by someone physically attaching something to him or giving the impression of having done so, may encourage others.

'The giant is protected as both a Scheduled Ancient Monument and as part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its important chalk grassland which supports wild flowers, butterflies and other wildlife.'

The hillside figure was given to the National Trust a century ago in 1920, and part of the task of conserving the Giant means leaving it alone as much as possible.

A man wearing a face mask walks past an advert for 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan'

A man wearing a face mask walks past an advert for 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan'

This image released by Amazon Studios shows Sacha Baron Cohen in a scene from Borat 2

This image released by Amazon Studios shows Sacha Baron Cohen in a scene from Borat 2

The chalk is replaced every decade in a process taking days of work by rangers and volunteers. But the more the ground is disturbed, the quicker the Giant erodes away.

What is known about the Cerne Abbas Giant 

The Cerne Abbas Giant is a chalk figure of an enormous naked man wielding a club carved into the side of a hill in Dorchester, England.

The giant is one of a number of presumably ancient hill figures

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