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Vandals smash park statue

A STATUE that has been repeatedly vandalised by yobs will be restored by the council after numerous complaints by residents. The Coadestone figure of a druid has been sitting within Priory Park for 140 years but recently has been targeted by vandals more than once. Locals have called for Chichester District Council to repair the statue and now the council has confirmed it will be repaired by the end of the month. Resident David Hide, 89, who lives in nearby Priory Road, said he was “horrified” after learning the statue had had the arm ripped off. “It has been broken several times,” he said. “Vandals can’t seem to keep away from it and they have ruined it now by taking the right arm off. “He has been smashed around so much that his value which is very high indeed, has been greatly reduced. “The question is now going to be his restoration. “I think it’s very important. It’s got some extraordinary history. “For 140 years he has stood in the park but before that he was underground in the cathedral and he had been moved to West Street. He’s got a life of his own. “I live very close to it and I can almost see it from my window. We were all horrified when we heard this had happened. “I hope very much that the council will raise the money that is required to restore it properly by rebuilding him. “I would also like to see it moved to where vandals can’t get to it.” The statue was first brought to the city in the 1770’s and has had a number of different homes before it was brought to the park in 1873. Councillor Roger Barrow is the cabinet member for environment at Chichester District Council. He said repairs will be carried out, to the value of up to £2,000. “We are very concerned that vandalism can occur but unfortunately that seems to be life in some cities these days,” he said. “It’s a very valuable statue. We are having it repaired by the end of the month. “I am going down to have a look at it to see where we might put it where it will be more secure. “It’s a very popular park. As I understand it, this particular statue is part of our heritage and our history. “It’s worth an awful lot of money. It’s very valuable so perhaps it needs to be in a more secure position where people can’t get it and it won’t get vandalised.” WHERE would you like the statue moved to? Send your suggestions to

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