LONDON — A teenager who is accused of throwing a 6-year-old boy off a balcony at the Tate Modern museum in London appeared in court on Tuesday on a charge of attempted murder.
In a five-minute hearing, a magistrate confirmed the teenager’s identity and heard a short statement from prosecutors before referring the case to a higher court, where the accused is scheduled to appear on Thursday. The teenager, who is 17, cannot be identified because of British laws that restrict reporting in cases involving people younger than 18.
Sian Morgan, a prosecutor, told the court on Tuesday that the 6-year-old boy was with his parents on the museum’s 10th-floor viewing platform when he was picked up “in one swift movement” and thrown over the side. He fell around 100 feet, and landed on the fifth-floor roof of the museum, she said.
Ms. Morgan said the boy had suffered “very serious injuries,” including fractures to the spine, legs and arms, and “a deep bleed to the brain.”
The London police said in a statement on Tuesday that the boy was in a “stable but critical condition,” meaning his life was no longer in immediate danger.
A spokesman for the French Embassy in London said on Monday that the boy was a French citizen, and that he had been visiting the city with his parents.
The episode led to a lockdown of Tate Modern on Sunday, and visitors were unable to leave or enter the museum for around an hour. Many said they had feared a terrorist attack. The museum has since reopened, but the viewing platform remains closed. A museum spokesman said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that he did not know when it would reopen.
Tate Modern is Britain’s most popular visitor attraction, and the museum received almost 5.9 million visitors last year. The viewing platform, which opened in 2016, is almost as much a draw as the art inside, offering free views of some of London’s most famous landmarks.
Alex Marshall is a European culture reporter, based in London. @alexmarshall81
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