Readers find vandalism of iconic Coventry sculpture 'disrespectful' and 'disgusting'

The Naiad was made by Coventry sculptor George Wagstaffe
The Naiad was made by Coventry sculptor George Wagstaffe -Credit:Coventry Telegraph

Readers expressed their anger at a decades-old Coventry sculpture that had to be removed after being vandalised. Some said it was 'disgusting' behaviour and the vandals 'should be ashamed of themselves'.

Historian Scott Duffin discovered the life-sized depiction of a water nymph Naiad had been moved from its original spot on Upper Precinct and 'snapped from its mounts' on April 24. He said that this sort of damage makes him 'upset' and found it 'disrespectful'.

Naiad was created by George Wagstaffe and has had various homes in the city. It was moved to the Upper Precinct when Coventry became the City of Culture in 2021. The vandalism has been reported to West Midlands Police and cameras are now being checked by Coventry City Council.

Scott Duffin says many like himself only want to see 'the best for Coventry' and that this type of damage will be correctly swiftly to not 'dampen the spirit of our heritage' He said: "We have had a recent spree of criminal damage against our historic monuments and buildings, and have been told West Midlands Police are involved to investigate who might be behind this reckless damage."

It has been removed for the time being until the council can assure she can be 'securely fixed' back into place on Upper Precinct. A spokesman for Coventry City Council said: "We are aware that the Naiad has been detached from her fixings and we are currently checking the CCTV to see who did it."

Readers took to the CoventryLive Facebook page to share their thoughts on Naiad being vandalised in the city.

Fran Hunter said: "I used to live in and around Coventry but haven’t been back to the city centre since the ‘80s. Visited the precinct last month and was impressed at how clean it looked, especially the lower precinct car park areas.

"The face of British high streets is changing but Lady G is still in Coventry, keeping an eye on things. Unfortunately, some things never change, vandalism being one."

Nathan McGarry said: "It doesn’t surprise me, no one has respect. Kids were just chucking their rubbish out the bus window the other day. But there is no deterrent and no one cares. If anyone says anything you just get a mouthful of swearing."

Janice Palmer said: "She is the go-to place for my granddaughter. The fairy in the water she calls her. She saw her on Tuesday when we visited for the St George celebration. I hope she’s not damaged and returned quickly. The vandals should be ashamed of themselves I hope they get them before they can do any more mischief."

Lynne Carol Proctor said: "Disgusting. I loved seeing that statue why can't people leave things alone and be respectful."

However, some didn't agree. Cherry Evans said: "I always hated this statue. Glad it's being removed. It looks like a partially clothed minor. It's vile. My kids asked me why they put a statue of a naked kid there. Doesn't look like a fairy."

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