Disappointment after Big Hoot owl 'deliberately vandalised'
- Credit: Tom Cann
Only 48 hours after a celebratory launch there has been disappointment and "disgust" at the vandalism of Big Hoot owl.
The damaged sculpture on the corner of Dial Lane, is part of The Big Hoot 2022, a Wild in Art trail by St Elizabeth Hospice.
'Nocturnowl', created by artist Kieran Page, was pushed from behind, leaving the tip of the owl's beak broken, and stress cracks all over.
The plinth that the owl sits on was also damaged, suffering stress cracks and part of the base broken off.
Andrew Marsh, owner of Dial Lane Books, who sponsored the owl, said: "To say we are gutted would be a massive understatement.
"I'm absolutely disgusted and gutted that the Big Hoot has already been marred in this way.
"On Sunday, Dial Lane was packed with folk queuing to see Kieran’s owl, and that this has happened is incomprehensible."
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Karen Jones, who is Andrew's assistant at Dial Lane Books, first saw the damage on her way to work on Tuesday 21.
She said: "We don't open on Monday's, so when I walked to work, I could see the bottom of the plinth was damaged, and I thought I'm sure that wasn't like that when it got dropped off on Sunday.
"We are devastated that it has been attacked. Hopefully, it can be repaired with no further damage.
"Our concern is because of the stress cracks, the owl won't raise as much money for St Elizabeth Hospice as it should."
She felt the people of Ipswich were "going to take this heart" also.
She added: "For Kieran too, all his hard work and people do this. This is part of him, for an artist to do this, it's massive so it is really devastating.
"I think the community is going to be upset by this because people are really passionate about these owls."
Celia Joseph, community relationships fundraising manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: "It was deliberately vandalised and suffered damage, which is very disappointing to see.
“Our team will be working with the artist to repair Nocturnowl and return the Hoot back to full health as soon as possible, so it can continue to bring joy to the town centre.”
If you have any information regarding this incident please contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting the incident number SC-21062022-194.