The stunt was carried out as the Edinburgh-based chain was set to open four new shops in the North-East. However, they had not received permission from Gateshead Council or artist Sir Antony Gormley.
The council added a clause to the original agreement back in 1994 when the statue was under construction prohibiting the lighting of the angel.
A statement published in Saturday’s Times newspaper said:
“On 11 January 2019, VPZ projected two images onto Sir Antony Gormley’s sculpture known as the “Angel of the North.” The projection was then photographed to be used as part of a marketing campaign by VPZ.
“VPZ did this without Sir Antony or Gateshead Council’s permission. VPZ did not intend to upset Sir Antony or disrespect his work and apologises to Sir Antony and anyone else that may have been upset of offended by the projection.”
Sir Antony has said that the Angel serves three functions:
“Firstly a historic one to remind us that below this site coal miners worked in the dark for two hundred years, secondly to grasp hold of the future, expressing our transition from the industrial to the information age, and lastly to be a focus for our hopes and fears – a sculpture is an evolving thing.”