18th Sep, 2018

Man charged over Lady Godiva statue and memorial artwork graffiti attack

Felix Nobes 12th Sep, 2018 Updated: 12th Sep, 2018

A MAN has been charged with alleged criminal damage after the iconic Lady Godiva statue in Broadgate and a piece of memorial artwork was targeted with graffiti.

John Kiely, aged 43, of The Farmstead, Stoke Aldermoor, is due to appear before Coventry Magistrates Court today (September 12).

He has been charged with three counts of criminal damage.

Two of the charges relate to the Lady Godiva monument and the other relates to allegedly defacing a piece of artwork outside the Herbert Art Gallery, as we reported yesterday.

Leader of Coventry City Council George Duggins said: “Lady Godiva is a respected symbol of our city and like many others who have seen the graffiti, I’m angry and disappointed that this has happened.

“Our crews have attempted to clean her over the weekend but the graffiti is proving very difficult to remove.

“The team are out again today and we are contacting specialist cleaners for advice.

“We are looking at CCTV footage and will be passing this to the police.”

The council’s latest statement yesterday afternoon read: “More graffiti was found on the Godiva statue this morning and our crews have been back out to do what they can to remove it.”

A police statement from yesterday said: “Police investigating two incidents of criminal damage to the Lady Godiva statue in Broadgate, Coventry city centre have arrested a 43-year-old man.

“It was reported that the statue had graffiti emblazoned on it on both Sunday (September 9) and early this morning (Tuesday, September 11).”

The statue of Lady Godiva, Countess of Mercia, was sculpted by William Reid-Dick and was unveiled in 1949.

She is a central part of Coventry’s medieval history and the statue symbolises her importance.

It is one of the few statues of horses outside London to be listed (Grade II), according to the council.

The artwork outside the Herbert Art Gallery in the city centre is dedicated to celebrated Coventry archaeologist, John Bailey Shelton MBE.

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