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Sculpture over 200 years old vandalized with blue crayon

<i>National Trust</i><br/>Blue crayon scrawlings were discovered on the Sabrina statue on Easter Saturday. The statue was designed in the 18th century.
National Trust
Blue crayon scrawlings were discovered on the Sabrina statue on Easter Saturday. The statue was designed in the 18th century.

Issy Ronald, CNN

A statue more than 200 years old of the water nymph Sabrina has been vandalized with blue crayon, British conservation charity the National Trust said in a statement.

The damaged sculpture in Worcestershire, western England, was first discovered on Easter Saturday but after taking advice from conservators and cleaning the statue, the National Trust was able to remove the crayon on Thursday morning, it added.

A memorial to landscape designer and architect Lancelot “Capability” Brown, also situated in the grounds of the historic Croome estate, was similarly vandalized with blue crayon and the National Trust said it is still in the process of cleaning it.

“We are dismayed that this has happened,” a National Trust spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Friday. “Disappointing as they are, incidents like this are very rare considering the millions of visitors who enjoy and respect the places in our care.”

Designed by renowned British sculptor John Bacon in the early 1770s, the statue of Sabrina is carved from Coade stone and sits in a grotto that was originally decorated with exotic shells, coral and gems, beside an artificial serpentine lake 1.5 miles long.

The date of the sculpture’s manufacture is disputed, although it is believed to be either mid-1780s or 1802, according to the National Trust.

The Croome estate, where both monuments were vandalized, was owned by the Coventry family from the 16th century until 1948. It has served many functions beyond being a private house, becoming a secret airbase in World War II and the Hare Krishna UK headquarters in 1979.

Although it is unusual for historic monuments to be defaced, it is not unprecedented.

Plymouth Rock, where tradition says the Pilgrim Fathers first stepped foot in the United States after disembarking the Mayflower, was vandalized with graffiti in February 2020 along with other statues and monuments in Plymouth.

Meanwhile, seven people were arrested after the iconic “Bean” sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park was spray-painted with graffiti in July 2019.

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