Lord Nelson statue fenced off amid fear of permanent damage
PUBLISHED: 14:32 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:32 08 July 2020
Norwich City Council has fenced off a controversial Lord Nelson statue after it was twice attacked by vandals.
The likeness of Norfolk’s most famous son, found in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, was first daubed with black spray paint on Saturday evening.
A second graffiti attack was discovered on Tuesday when a large ‘X’ and the word ‘DOWN’ was sprayed onto the plinth.
Amid worries that the statue might have permanently damaged the porous stone, council contractors have fenced it off in an attempt to prevent further damage being done.
A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: “The statue of Nelson is a Grade II-listed monument, which we have a duty to look after. Since late on Saturday night, it has been subject to two separate graffiti attacks. As a result, we arranged for Heras fencing to be put around it as a temporary measure while we bring in a specialist to assess the damage.
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“Once it has been assessed we can decide on our next steps.”
A number of statues across the country have been defaced in recent weeks as Black Lives Matter protesters call for memorials to historical figures with links to racism and slavery to be removed.
While Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson is regarded as a hero by many, and is one of Norfolk’s most famous sons, he has become a controversial figure after it was suggested a letter read in parliament after his death revealed he was against a campaign to abolish slavery.
A statement from the dean and chapter of Norwich Cathedral on Tuesday morning said: “The dean and chapter regret the damage done to the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson on Saturday night. The damage has been reported to the police and to Norwich City Council, which owns and maintains the statue.
“As previously stated, Admiral Lord Nelson, although a national hero, was also like all of us flawed in some ways.
“The Dean and Chapter are committed to reviewing the place of historical figures memorialised in the Cathedral and in our grounds and to hosting conversations about what we have to learn from past wrongs.”
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