Sunday, 12 October 2014

Eric Morecambe statue damaged and removed, Morecambe man arrested

The famous 'Eric' statue before it was damaged

Update 13th October 2014: A man is detained under the Mental Health Act in connection with the offence.

News that the iconic Eric Morecambe statue on Morecambe Promenade has been so seriously damaged that it has had to be removed has shocked and distressed residents throughout the area.

Police were called in at noon yesterday (Saturday) because some person or persons had attempted to saw through the supporting ankle of the statue. The attempt was not completely successful but the statue was left so unsafe that the City Council has had to remove it to a place of safety to prevent further damage - leaving just the foot. The area is currently fenced off.

A 32-year-old man from Morecambe has been arrested on suspicion of attempted theft.

The bronze statue of comedian Eric Morecambe which took sculptor Graham Ibbeson six years to complete has been a very popular feature on Morecambe Promenade since it was unveiled by the Queen in 1999. It features Eric in a pose from the famous 'Bring Me Sunshine' dance he used to do with his partner Ernie Wise at the end of their shows.

Over the last 15 years thousands of people have posed beside it,  and only this year it won the Tripadvisor  Certificate of Excellence, based on visitor feedback.

Lancaster City Council have contacted Graham Ibbeson to make plans for its restoration.

'Stupid', 'crude', 'callous', 'hurtful', 'senseless', 'disrespectful', 'hostile' - all are words used by local residents, business people, visitors in local, national and social media to describe this act against the Morecambe community. Among a great many other words we can't repeat here.

Many have made pledges of support and we all hope that the City Council will be able to restore the statue by next Spring.

Commenting on the investigation, Sergeant John Bond said: “We are in the early stages of our investigation and I would urge anyone who may have seen what happened or has any information to get in touch with police on 101 quoting log number 0325 of 11th October.”

Here are some comments on the vandalism from Morecambe Football Club, local MP David Morris and others...

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