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Vandals damage Corsham's golden lion
2:56pm Tuesday 30th October 2012 in Latest News
Flashback to summer when Sue Witt showed design winner Toni Sutton, right, and runner up Chloe Tonkin the finished lion
Corsham is currently without its famous golden lion after vandals attacked it on Friday evening and it has had to be taken away for repairs.
The lion, homed in the pathway of the Martingate Centre, was discovered damaged by Sue Witt, of The Toy Box, on Saturday morning.
The statue has suffered minor damage but its stone base has been heavily cracked by the vandals and was taken away on Tuesday by Rudloe Stone to be repaired with the bill expected to be around £300.
Mrs Witt said: “It could have been attacked with someone using a heavy mallet but it’s more likely to be that four or five lads larking around have lifted it and then dropped it cracking the base.”
Over the summer, Mrs Witt launched a competition to give the lion a makeover asking children from schools across the area to design a Olympic-themed colour scheme for him.
There were 635 entries and in August Mrs Witt painted the lion in the winning design of eight-year-old Corsham Primary School Toni Sutton.
Mrs Witt said: “After spending all that time working on it I was really quite devastated. But I do have a feeling that something like this won’t happen again as those responsible with be suitably embarrassed and ashamed.
“The lion is totally loved by everybody in the town and I would like to think we could build up the competition to design his coat as a yearly event.”
Wiltshire Police is currently investigating the incident and Bill Hall, owner of the Martingate Centre, is currently in discussions with Mrs Witt about the future of the lion.
He said: “This is such a crying shame as Sue has worked so hard on this and to have that damaged by mindless vandalism is just so disappointing.
“We are going to have a chat about the next step but it is Sue’s call. We want to ensure the lion can still be enjoyed by the people of the town.”
Any witnesses can call Wiltshire Police on 101.