New Gruffalo-inspired sculpture in popular park is vandalised

A recently installed Gruffalo-inspired sculpture at a popular park has been vandalised.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 4:14 pm

Talented artist and sculptor Graeme Hopper created two metal models inspired by the popular children’s story, alongside a dragon sculpture, for Sedgefield’s Hardwick Park, with the figures put in place at the end of May.

Yet the ears of the mouse sculpture were removed last weekend and it is estimated that it will cost hundreds of pounds to repair.

Oliver Sherratt, the head of environment at Durham County Council which owns the park, said: “It is extremely upsetting to see that the ears have been snapped off our new mouse sculpture.

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Artist Graeme Hopper, from Crook, with the damaged Sedgefield sculpture.

The Gruffalo inspired sculptures were created specifically for the park by artist Graeme Hopper and have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public in the last four weeks, since their installation.

“In a short space of time they have already become a very popular addition to the visitor offer at Hardwick Park.

"This incident has caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to the sculpture, which has now had to be removed and taken away for repair. I know that this will be hugely disappointing to the large number of people who enjoy seeing the sculptures as part of their visit.”

The latest incident comes after The Temple of Minerva at the park was damaged in a suspected arson attack in March.

Damage estimated at between £5,000 and £10,000 was caused in the incident. The temple remains fenced off from visitors while it awaits specialist repair work.

Anyone with information regarding the sculpture vandalism should call Durham Constabulary on the non-emergency 101, number quoting incident reference number 150 of June 21.

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