‘It’s sad that they can’t have more respect for where they live’ – Sculptor speaks out after statue vandalised in Royston

PUBLISHED: 08:52 20 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:36 20 January 2017

The sculpture has had the crow at the top removed by a vandal. Picture: Spencer Youens

The sculpture has had the crow at the top removed by a vandal. Picture: Spencer Youens

Spencer Youens

The sculptor who carved the Royston Priory Memorial Gardens statue out of a damaged tree in the town centre said the teenager who vandalised it shows a lack of respect for the town.

Dennis Heath carved the sculpture out of a damaged tree in the Priory Memorial Gardens.Dennis Heath carved the sculpture out of a damaged tree in the Priory Memorial Gardens.

A teenage boy is being sought by police following the incident, which happened at about 2.10pm on Saturday, when the offender broke off the crow at the top of the statue before leaving on foot in the direction of the railway station.

Sculptor Dennis Heath said: “I’m shocked that someone would want to climb up the sculpture to nick the crow off the top and cause this damage.

“It’s a shame that a young person living in Royston doesn’t have much respect for the history of where they live, or for the people in that area.

“I can’t say why, for a few moments of fun, they’ve ruined the sculpture that took three and a half days of work.”

The suspected vandal has been described by police as a boy of about 14 or 15 years old, white, around 5ft 3in tall, of slim build and was wearing a black jacket with a grey hood.

Dennis was commissioned by North Herts District Council to create the work on behalf of them and Royston Town Council from a tree that had originally be vandalised in 2012. At the time Dennis said he wanted the piece to epitomise the town, and it was unveiled in November.

“The crow is a symbol of Royston – and it was on the statue 10 feet high, they must’ve had help. We had scaffolding up to complete it.

“It’s sad that they can’t have more respect for the area they live in, and history that goes back more than 1,000 years.

“A lot of these people who say they aren’t interested in the town, it was their ancestors help shape the town and create the history.

Dennis said it’s not the first time he’s had projects subjected to vandalism.

“It is strange, because some young people become proud of their town, and would police the area, but there are some who spoil it for everyone,” he said.

Town council clerk Susan Thornton-Björk said: “We are disheartened to see such mindless acts of vandalism from people intent on destroying their local environment.

“We would ask anyone who has any information concerning this vandalism and antisocial behaviour to pass on any details to the police.”

The bird was later recovered by officers, who are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact them on on 101, quoting crime reference G4/17/42.

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