Graffiti not removed from city art work for months

A renowned sculptor has hit out after his artwork was left with offensive graffiti scrawled on it for months in Peterborough.

Sunday, 27th January 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:11 pm
Graffiti painted on the steel sculpture near Frank Perkins Parkway. EMN-190122-150529009

Robert Erskine, who created the Power Rhythm sculpture, which is found on the Eye Roundabout, said he was furious the graffiti - which he said contained offensive language - had not been cleaned off after the vandalism was reported in the summer.

Mr Erskine, who has been the brains behind large public art sculptures in Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent and the Netherlands, raised the issue of the graffiti after reports the Bomber Command memorial in London had been hit by vandals with white paint.

He said: “I have been inundated with emails from residents who are upset and devastated that Power Rhythm has been defaced, requesting this offensive word is removed.

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Graffiti painted on the steel sculpture near Frank Perkins Parkway. EMN-190122-150540009

“This issue happened last summer and was reported by residents to Vivacity who are guardians of Peterborough’s public sculpture.

“To date no remedial action has happened.

“The difference with this situation is that London’s defaced public sculptures will be cleaned immediately, because they are regraded as so important to the look of the city, whereas Vivacity doesn’t have the same values.”

The Peterborough Telegraph visited the Power Rhythm sculpture this week - and while no offensive language could be seen, the art work had been targeted by vandals with spray cans.

Robert Erskine

A spokesman for Vivacity said: “Vivacity has been in contact with Mr Erskine and have sourced the appropriate cleaner to remove the graffiti in the best way for the artwork.

“The artwork will be reinstated to its former glory and we will continue our committed work to maintaining artwork and enabling artists around the city.”

A spokesman for Peterborough City Council said they had provided a quote to Vivacity to clean the graffiti off.

Power Rhythm was installed in the city to celebrate the new millennium, the opening of the Green Wheel cycle network, and the contribution of Perkins to the city.