23rd Apr, 2019

Man jailed after graffiti attack on Lady Godiva statue and memorial artwork

Felix Nobes 13th Sep, 2018 Updated: 13th Sep, 2018

A MAN has been jailed after defacing the iconic Lady Godiva statue and an artwork installation in honour of a historic Coventry figure.

John Kiely, aged 43, of The Farmstead, Stoke Aldermoor, was convicted at Coventry Magistrates’ Court today (September 13).

He was found guilty of three counts of criminal damage and jailed for eight weeks.

Two of the convictions relate to damage done to the Lady Godiva monument while the other relates to daubing a piece of artwork outside the Herbert Art Gallery with graffiti.

The installation is dedicated to celebrated Coventry archaeologist, John Bailey Shelton MBE.

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 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.”

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.

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