‘Disgust’ over sand sculpture attack

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 August 2012

The Queen statue after the attack

The Queen statue after the attack

Alec Messchaert

VANDALS beheaded exhibits and ran amok at Weston’s famous Sand Sculpture Festival.

The culprits broke into the seafront site during the night of August 22 and caused a huge amount of damage to the exhibits.

Among the sculptures worst affected in the attack was a sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II, which was beheaded.

Festival organisers say they have been ‘disgusted’ by the vandalism but half of the damaged exhibits have been repaired and the attack has not hit visitor numbers.

Co-organiser Mr Messchaert said: “This is our livelihood.

“There is still a lot to see and we need the public’s support now more than ever.”

Fifteen of the festival’s sculptures, including the statues of the Queen, the Olympic podium and David Beckham, were attacked.

Police have been investigating and CCTV footage is currently being checked.

Organisers Nicola Wood and Mr Messchaert are offering a reward to anyone with information which can lead to the capture of the culprits.

Ms Wood was due to fly to the Netherlands to represent the UK in the European Sculpting Championships, but had to withdraw.

But her fellow competitors decided that she could delay her entry into the championship and she is now in Zandfoord representing her country.

Mr Messchaert said: “We were disgusted by what happened.

“We were a bit worried that people would not come to the festival after the attack, but there are a lot of people who have come since to support us and people have said how disgusted they’ve been by what has happened.

“The public have been fantastic.”

The entrance price for the festival has been temporarily reduced to £2, and there are plenty of events such as live sculpting, an open workshop and the sand café that will be open as normal over the next few days.

Anyone with information should contact the police on 101.

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