Southend Borough Council have appealed for information from the public after the index finger was stolen from the town’s clifftop statue of Queen Victoria.
As you will see in the photo below, she normally points an authoritative finger out to sea for the benefit of passing seafarers (or perhaps ‘Thamesfarers,’ but that’s another argument), but the callous theft and/or vandalism has left Her Majesty doing more of a ‘fist bump’ – Southend’s local authority is now desperate for information about the incident.
According to the council’s website:
On Friday 3 November a member of the public reported that the town’s famous Queen Victoria Statue on Clifftown Parade, Southend, was missing a finger.
The imperial digit, which usually points majestically to the sea, is thought to have been vandalised between 2 and 3 November, resulting in the stately statue now delivering a rather undignified fist-bump to passing seafarers.
A member of the public collected up the pieces of the finger from the floor but unfortunately, not enough of the finger remains to reattach it.
It is not the first time vandals have targeted the statue. Only in April, Council staff replaced the statue’s nose, hands and missing sceptre parts at a cost of £3,000. The Parks Technical team will now consider when a new finger can be carved and the AWOL appendage is replaced.
Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and The Economy, said: “It was Queen Victoria who signed the Royal Charter in 1892, giving Southend its Borough status. She was the town’s greatest fan and patron and it is right that her contribution to the town be commemorated.
“It is extremely disappointing that the statue has yet again been vandalised. Restoring the statue is a technical and costly task, and that is a cost that has to be shared by all residents through their Council tax.
“I urge anyone with information about this wanton act of vandalism to pass it on to Essex Police.”
All joking aside, this statue is a major part of Southend’s cultural identity, and any help to ‘finger’ those responsible would be much appreciated!
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Photo Credit: Southend Borough Council / Facebook