Restored Tonypandy statue daubed with graffiti

Image caption The statue's refurbishment was timed to coincide with the centenary of the Tonypandy Riots

Vandals have damaged a statue less than two weeks after it was returned restored and repaired to its home town.

The Lady With The Lamp statue, paid for by local colliers, had stood in the centre of Tonypandy for more than 60 years.

It was put into storage in the 1990s, and earlier this month hundreds turned out to see the refurbished statue unveiled.

But now the statue's plinth has been sprayed with silver graffiti.

Anniversary unveiling

Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "This absolutely disgusts and infuriates me beyond imagination. Individual organisations have worked hard raising funds to ensure the Lady With The Lamp was fully restored and placed back in the centre of her hometown.

"Within less than two weeks she succumbs to a bout of vandalism from some mindless thugs. Such actions are appalling and are carried out by an idiotic minority who have no respect for the local community and its people.

"Such perpetrators must be identified and brought to justice because behaviour like this is totally unacceptable. It undermines the very fabric of our communities.

"This community turned out in force to celebrate the unveiling of the Lady With The Lamp 101 years after it was first unveiled. To think it has been damaged already is infuriating beyond belief."

The statue's refurbishment was carried out to coincide with events to mark the centenary of the Tonypandy Riots. Striking miners, who were fighting for a living wage, attacked shops and mine-owners' property in Tonypandy town centre on 7 and 8 November 1910.

The restoration of the statue, which now stands in a community garden, was carried out by the council and partners including the Rhondda Civic Society, Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Arts and The Civic Trust for Wales.

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