Vandals have damaged an iconic statue just two weeks after it was returned to its home in a Valleys town after undergoing extensive restoration work.
The restored Lady with the Lamp statue was recently unveiled in Tonypandy as part of a series of events to mark the commemoration of the centenary of the Tonypandy Riots.
But vandals have now sprayed graffiti on the plinth of the statue which is situated on De Winton Street in the town.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism Councillor Robert Bevan said the vandalism showed a “lack of respect for the local community and its people” and branded the perpetrators “mindless thugs”.
“This absolutely disgusts and infuriates me beyond imagination.” Added Cllr. Bevan.
“Individual organisations have worked hard raising funds to ensure the Lady with the Lamp was fully restored and placed back in the centre of her hometown.
“This community turned out in force to celebrate the unveiling of the Lady with the Lamp 101 years after it was first unveiled. To think it has been damaged already is infuriating beyond belief.”
The statue stood in the centre of the town for over 60 years and was paid for by the miners of the local “Scotch” Colliery. It was damaged in a car accident on Tonypandy Square in the 1960s and moved to other locations before going into storage before recently being restored in time for the 100th anniversary of the riots in the town.
The incident has been reported to South Wales Police who will continue to monitor the area. Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Rhondda, Mike Jones, said: “Our officers, like the local community, share a sense of pride in the statue and they are keen to identify who the culprit or culprits are.
“We have increased visibility in the area as a deterrent to any further incidents, and we would encourage anyone who has information to contact the Neighbourhood Policing team at Tonypandy via 101 or contact Crimestoppers via 0800 555 111.”