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These cast concrete tracks are a symbol of the Little Spartan War which broke out in 1983. It arose from a dispute between IHF and the Scottish Arts Council which caused IHF to cancel a planned exhibition at the Council's gallery. Subsequently the local authority, Strathclyde Region, withdrew rates relief from the Temple of Apollo, firstly on the grounds that it was not supported by a grant from the Scottish Arts Council, and secondly that it was not a religious building. The Region declined to answer IHF's question - what defines a religious building in contemporary society. Thereupon the Saint-Just Vigilantes were formed, a force dedicated to support the Little Sparta cause. IHF's headquarters were in the building bow housing the Hortus Conclusus, and lookout posts and checkpoints were established. In February 1983 the Vigilantes, named after the French Revolutionary leader, confronted the Sheriff's officer who was attempting to seize works from the Temple in lieu of rates and successfully defeated him. Two weeks later in the Budget Day Raid the officer returned and managed to take several works from the Temple, some of them the property of other artists, institutions and friends. They have not been returned.

 

 
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Photographs by Andrew Lawson except where noted