IT was constructed to represent proud Preston’s link to Britain’s inland waterways.
But the remarkable 15ft timber carving, named Water, has fallen victim to the ever present scourge of the new city.
Just weeks after the statue was unveiled vandals have targeted the sculpture at the newly built Millennium Link, painting it’s toenails and scrawling their names across the front and back of the figure’s legs.
The sculpture forms the start of a new art trail along the route of the link and is the second landmark at the Ribble Link to be damaged in recent months.
The bridge overlooking the canal has also been vandalised, sporting the same names as the statue’s legs and front.
Today, those behind the project said they were appalled. Dave Goodey, British Waterways Project Supervisor, said: ”We will be getting the artist back to fix this and will leave it in his hands.”
“I think the graffiti is very disgraceful but is what we have in this day and age. The artist will have various ways and means to clean it though.”
The creator of the statue was Tom Dagnall who took several months to complete the piece. The sculpture has only recently been completed after more work was needed to it’s hands and feet after they had been vandalised.
Councillor Ken Hudson, committee member on the Ribble Link said: “I think it is a super statue and marks the gateway to the city of Preston. If mindless vandals want to do this then there is nothing that people can do to stop them.”
Passers-by also thought the vandalism was a disgrace.
Christine Shakeshaft from Aston said: “I think that it is disgusting. It doesn’t surprise me that this has been done. I just hope they clean it up quickly.”