Weston Sand Sculpture Festival's Queen vandalised

Weston Sand Sculpture, beheaded queen
Image caption Vandals smashed and beheaded sand sculptures, including one of the Queen

A sand sculpture of the Queen has been beheaded by vandals at the Weston-super-Mare Sand Sculpture Festival.

The vandals struck on Wednesday night and also destroyed two athletes in the Olympic display and over 10 other sculptures.

Co-organiser Nicola Wood said: "I'm devastated on many different levels, obviously this festival means a lot to me. I put my heart and soul into it."

It will take about a week to repair the damage but the festival remains open.

'Real honour'

Due to the vandalism, Miss Wood said she has had to withdraw from a trip to Holland where she was going to represent the UK in the European Sculpting Championships.

"It was a real honour to be invited to represent my home country. I have been planning and designing for months but I simply can't leave the festival in this state. I'm devastated."

Festival organisers said the police had been informed and were investigating.

They said three males had been seen on CCTV and a reward would be offered for information leading to the culprits.

"We were really keen to keep the festival outdoors, it's sand sculptures, it's the beach, we don't want to put a roof over it," added Miss Wood.

"We've got a hoarding all the way round, we've got security patrolling the site, CCTV cameras - I'm surprised this has happened, but we just have to deal with it."

Image caption Two athletes in an Olympic sand display were also beheaded by vandals

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