In a bizarre 17th-century-Highwayman-esque event this morning, someone managed to scale the Tower of London and steal the keys to the Crown Jewels. Granted, security immediately changed all the locks at a cost running into the thousands and the thief would have had to lower the drawbridge and lay siege to the castle itself to actually get his hands on them, but it does get you thinking that maybe the crown should rethink its strategy of hiring men in top hats who don't look like they've ever received any training to guard the largest diamond in the world.
Whatever the case, it opened our eyes to how easy it is to break into buildings of national or historical importance. Think about the times you've discussed the potential jollities to be had spending a night in the British Museum with your friends. Or the time you stared in a mirror and told your own face how fun it would be to spend a night in Madame Tussauds finally surrounded by people (kind of). Well, those dreams could now become a reality – if you have the balls and cunning to steal the keys to one of those buildings.
In preparation of the inevitable, upcoming key-stealing megatrend, we went to ask a bunch of random Londoners a question: Which building would you steal the keys to?
Magnus, 30: I guess I would like to have the keys to an art gallery, just to be able to sneak out at night and hang out with friends for a chat. Not a specific building, but preferably somewhere showcasing Basquiat.
VICE: Would there be any music going on during this little gathering?
Yes, Danny Brown would be playing.
Danny Brown, Basquiat, some wine and your close friends in an art gallery. That’s exactly what I would expect from a man named Magnus.
Andreas, 28: I don’t really know, sorry.
Maybe the keys to a hairdressers?
No, no. My house would be fine – I don’t need any keys to go anywhere else.
Really? You could have the keys to anywhere. The Sistine Chapel, maybe?
No. I just chill in my house all day anyway.
Victoria, 28: I don’t know, really.
Where are you from?
Are there any interesting buildings in New Zealand?
Uh, no, not really, to be honest. We’re quite a young country. Architecture is a bit of a mess there.
Is there anything worth seeing at all in New Zealand?
Yeah, there are a few iconic buildings. Our government house in Wellington is called the Beehive because it looks kind of like a beehive.
So would you steal the keys to the Beehive?
No, I don’t really care about the beehive.
Neither do I, Victoria. Neither do I.
Tom, 22: Probably the tower of London – I'd steal all the crown jewels.
Was it you who stole the keys today by any chance?
No, I didn’t steal ‘em. Are you trying to catch the actual people? You don’t look like a journalist. I've gotta run, mate.
Hmm, suspicious. I know your name and age, Tom. It's only a matter of time now.
Edward, 26: The M&C Saatchi Building, maybe. I'd let myself in and take a job there. Nobody would ever need to know.
You want to work in advertising?
Yeah, I want to work in digital and social media. Anything that has a sort of cool, interactive feel with people on the streets. Fun stuff, basically.
Do you live in Shoreditch by any chance?
So you wouldn’t want the keys to a giant one-piece suit store?
I already have them. I work at the one-piece store in Boxpark. That’s where this is from. It’s very cosy.
Is there anywhere else you’d rather have the keys to?
A really, really awesome house. A mansion for all of my friends.
That would be nice. Would it have equally garish pixelated design patterns on the walls?
Absolutely. They would be projected on the walls so there’s a different one every day.
Hannah, 20 (left) and Amy, 20.
Amy: Probably the building in The Great British Bake-Off.
Are you stoned right now? Is that why?
No, I just love to bake! Why does everyone ask me that?
Your eyes look a little red.
Hannah: I’d probably have the keys to 10 Downing Street so I could slap David Cameron on the face. Then I’d film it and put it on YouTube.
Don’t you think there’s something more lucrative you could have the keys to? Like a bank or a museum?
Amy: I guess so, but I’d rather sell pastries.
Emma, 23 (left) and Mira, 23.
Emma: Okay, this is gonna sound really psycho, but – the keys to Jack’s flat so I could stalk him.
The guy I’m seeing, but non-committally. He has really nice hair.
Would you steal his hair products?
No, I’d go through his wardrobe. Oh my god, he has the best wardrobe. I’d take his knitwear – all of it.
Mira: I’d like the keys to the BBC and I’d like to see what’s really going on there.
How would you go about it?
I’d wear all black, I’d go in there Metal Gear Solid-style and – probably just use the coffee machine then go home. Or I’d go to M&M World with a massive bag, take all the M&Ms I could and take one of those outfits to wear during my downtime.
Emma: I might get the keys to Carine Roitfeld’s wardrobe – she’s the ex-editor of French Vogue.
Why French Vogue and not British Vogue?
Well, French Vogue is different than British Vogue. Carine is different, she’s got this whole aura about her. She’s essentially mythological – more concept than person. She’s amazing.