The spire of Salisbury Cathedral is seen behind police tape making a cordon around Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury, southern England, on July 5, 2018 cordoned off in connection with the investigation and major incident declared after a man and woman were found unconscious after  exposure with what was later identified as the nerve agent Novichok. - British police scrambled on July 5, to determine how a couple were exposed to the same nerve agent, Novichok, used on a former Russian spy earlier this year, leaving them critically ill. The couple were taken ill on Saturday in Amesbury, close to the city of Salisbury, where former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench on March 4, in an incident that sparked a diplomatic crisis with Russia. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe / AFP)        (Photo credit should read CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images
The spire of Salisbury Cathedral is seen behind police tape making a cordon around Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury, southern England, on July 5, 2018 cordoned off in connection with the investigation and major incident declared after a man and woman were found unconscious after exposure with what was later identified as the nerve agent Novichok. - British police scrambled on July 5, to determine how a couple were exposed to the same nerve agent, Novichok, used on a former Russian spy earlier this year, leaving them critically ill. The couple were taken ill on Saturday in Amesbury, close to the city of Salisbury, where former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench on March 4, in an incident that sparked a diplomatic crisis with Russia. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
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SALISBURY, ENGLAND - MARCH 07:  A police tent is seen behind a cordon outside The Maltings shopping centre where a man and a woman were found critically ill on a bench on March 4 and taken to hospital sparking a major incident, on March 7, 2018 in Wiltshire, England. Sergei Skripal, who was granted refuge in the UK following a 'spy swap' between the US and Russia in 2010, and his daughter remain critically ill after being exposed to an 'unknown substance'.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
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SALISBURY, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: A police tent is seen behind a cordon outside The Maltings shopping centre where a man and a woman were found critically ill on a bench on March 4 and taken to hospital sparking a major incident, on March 7, 2018 in Wiltshire, England. Sergei Skripal, who was granted refuge in the UK following a 'spy swap' between the US and Russia in 2010, and his daughter remain critically ill after being exposed to an 'unknown substance'. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
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(CNN) —  

A Russian flag has been spotted on Salisbury Cathedral in England, in an apparent stunt making light of the poisoning of former KGB agent Sergei Skripal in the city last year.

The flag was noticed scaffolding surrounding part of the cathedral on Sunday morning before being taken down by workers, but several residents and the local member of parliament took to social media to criticize the prank.

Former Russian spy Skripal and his daughter Yulia became seriously ill in the city after being poisoned in a Novichok attack last March, and 44-year-old woman Dawn Sturgess died in July after being exposed to the perfume bottle in which the poison was carried.

Months later, Salisbury Cathedral came to international attention when the two Russian agents accused of carrying out the attack claimed they were merely in the UK as tourists, hoping to admire its 123-meter spire.

“Thankfully it has been removed now – what a stupid stunt – mocking the serious events sadly experienced in Salisbury last year,” the city’s MP wrote on Twitter.

“How dare some stupid fool disrespect our city. After everything this city has got through it does not need this,” a local resident added.

The prank appears to relate to an interview Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the two men accused by Britain of carrying out the attack, which they deny, gave to Kremlin-backed news network RT in September.

Asked to explain why the men made a visit to the city that lasted less than two hours, Boshirov said: “It’s a touristic city. There’s a famous cathedral there, the Salisbury cathedral. It’s famous not just in all of Europe, it’s famous all over the world. It’s famous for its 123-meter spire, it’s famous for its clock, the first clock made in the world that still runs.”

“The cathedral is very beautiful, there are lots of tourists there,” he added later.

Last month, Igroland – a Russian toy company – released a board game called “Our Guys in Salisbury,” which begins Moscow and ends in Salisbury with figures in Hazmat suits.