Fury as yobs damage Prom statue – again

The smashed statue
The smashed statue
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Mindless vandals have wrecked the replica of a showpiece statue on Blackpool Promenade AGAIN – just weeks after it was replaced.

The original bronze artwork, by legendary sculptor Sir Peter Blake, was badly damaged by metal thieves in August 2011.

The statue before

The statue before

And the replacement of ‘Four Man Up’, part of a £120,000 Life is a Circus project on Blackpool’s South Promenade, was finally unveiled in June - after being recast in a less valuable material.

The two statues depict balancing acts as seen in a circus, of strongmen, horses and a mermaid, each reaching 10ft in height.

But police are now appealing for help once again in tracking down criminals who struck on Wednesday night, smashing the statue to pieces.

Sgt Dave Hannan of South Shore Police said: “This is an example of mindless vandalism. It is so disheartening to see this happen in a prime location in the heart of South Shore.

“It’s not long since they were replaced.

“We will be making inquiries and contacting the Pleasure Beach and The Sandcastle to see if there’s any CCTV footage which will lead us to the people who did this.”

Sir Peter, best known as the creator of the world famous album cover of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 
appeared in person to unveil two artworks opposite the Pleasure Beach in 2004.

After they were defaced, Blackpool Council took them away for repair and commissioned resin replicas of the installation from specialist sculptors AB Fine Art Foundry.

The original statues have been restored at a cost of £5,000 with town hall chiefs seeking a “secure space” for them to be sited permanently.

Coun Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We’re incredibly frustrated and angry that these statues have been vandalised, and hope that the police manage to bring the culprits to justice.

“I understand they are damaged beyond immediate repair so we will now have to assess what we do going forward and, given this incident, whether it is worth restoring them again or not.

“It is very sad that public art in Blackpool – whether in Stanley Park or on the Promenade – is so frequently the target of mindless vandalism or theft.”

Blackpool Civic Trust chairman Joan Humble added: “I’m shocked and very disappointed at this news. Blackpool Promenade looks so lovely now and many of our visitors comment on the improvements of the recent years.

“That these statues should be vandalised so soon after being replaced is dreadful.

“We shouldn’t give up though. We do need to look at other possibilities with regards to what material is used next time maybe.”