Beach sculpture vandalised again

A CONTROVERSIAL sculpture on a Suffolk beach has been vandalised for the third time.Supporters of Maggi Hambling's steel scallop shell on Aldeburgh beach voiced their dismay at the attack last night, while protesters calling for it to be relocated also voiced their strong condemnation.

By Sarah Chambers

A CONTROVERSIAL sculpture on a Suffolk beach has been vandalised for the third time.

Supporters of Maggi Hambling's steel scallop shell on Aldeburgh beach voiced their dismay at the attack last night, while protesters calling for it to be relocated also voiced their strong condemnation.

It was discovered daubed with green paint yesterday morning, with the words "Move it" painted across part of it.


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But the saga took yet another twist later on when a note was attached to the sculpture which read: "People who desecrate works of art are ignorant bigots".

It is the third time the work has been targeted since it was unveiled just over a year ago. An information board about the work has also only recently been cleaned after it was vandalised.

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There has been much debate in the town and beyond about the sculpture and its position, but Suffolk Coastal District Council, which was given ownership, has tried to draw a line under the issue by stressing it should stay where it is.

Miss Hambling said yesterday: "I'm really rather amazed that people find it necessary to be so destructive. If I didn't like a work of art, I would not look at it. The last thing I would do would be to vandalise it."

A Suffolk Coastal council spokesperson said: "We condemn yet another criminal act of violence. The council will now have to spend more money to remove the paint. This does not change the council's final decision on the location of the sculpture."

Aldeburgh district councillor Maggy Wilson, a strong supporter of the sculpture, said: "I'm absolutely horrified. We have just got the information sign cleaned so that people can actually read it because that was covered in green paint a little while ago."

She added that it was "an awful waste of taxpayers' money" to have to use council workers' and officers' time in cleaning it up.

David Gordon, chairman of Voices of the People, said he "absolutely condemned" the vandalism, and called on Ray Herring, Suffolk Coastal leader, to re-think the council's position.

"This shows once again that having the scallop in this location is wrong and Mr Herring ought to get round the table with all interested parties and decide where the scallop is best to go," he said.

A police spokeswoman appealed for anyone with information about the vandalism to contact PC Paul Downey on 01986 835300.

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