Police investigate 'violent' vandalism of beloved Chichester sculpture

The creator of a popular city-centre sculpture has described his emotions after vandals pummelled his work this week.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 5:42 pm

Police are said to be investigating the incident, which took place between Saturday (August 21) and Tuesday (24).

Chichester residents react to 'amazing' new East Street installationJohn Gillespie, from Singleton, began working on the sculpture a week after lockdown began in March 2020.

Titled 'Unity', John, who works as a stainless steel fabricator, dedicated the piece to the hard work of key workers throughout the pandemic.

Damage to the back of the neck. Picture courtesy of John Gillespie

Sculpture honouring key workers planned for Chichester's East StreetHe said: "I'm just really disappointed to be honest. I could understand if it was maybe politically motivated, or a drunk, but as far as I can see it was just a mindlessly violent altercation.

"It's really disappointing.

"We as a community cannot tolerate this kind of behaviour and we need to do something about it."

After John's wife spotted the damage, which he believes was caused by a hammer, he sat and reshaped the sculpture for two hours last night.

'Unity' by John Gillespie in East Street this morning (Wednesday, August 25)

The sculpture depicts a nurse sitting on a bench, with a two-metre space for social distancing, and is made with keys with the job titles of key workers engraved into them.

Anyone with any information should contact Sussex Police on 101 or online quoting reference 1355 of 24/08.

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