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Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 18:17 GMT
White horse loses 'panda' markings
The white horse at Cherhill
The white horse with stripes was supposed to be a panda
Black coverings put on parts of a white horse landmark to advertise a car have been torn down by a protester.

A restoration group allowed panda markings to be put on the historic white horse at Cherhill in Wiltshire in return for a donation.

The publicity stunt was connected with the launch of a Fiat car and the black vinyl sheets were due to be removed on Sunday.

The National Trust had given permission but there were complaints that the transformation at the ancient hillside site had not turned out as planned.

Bob Husband of the White Horse Restoration Group said : "It's a fair representation of the sketch we were shown but what it looks like is probably either unprintable or unspeakable."

Summer St John of Earth Energies, who works to protect sacred sites, said the marketing stunt was "disrespectful".

Then an anonymous protester took direct action and removed the black sheets.

He telephoned the parish council to say what he had done.

Eighteen months ago the Cherhill white horse, Wiltshire's second oldest, had a makeover by specialist teams using local chalk.

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