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Last Updated: Friday, 18 August 2006, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
Vandals behead Nightingale statue
Decapitated Florence Nightingale statue
The statute is being repaired by a specialist craftsman
Police are investigating the decapitation of a statue of heroine nurse Florence Nightingale at a hospital in Derby.

The statue near to the entrance of the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary was vandalised earlier this week.

Vandals chopped off the statue's head which is now being repaired by a specialist marble craftsman.

The statue's nose was broken and a section of the cheek damaged. Repairs will be completed within three weeks.

Mindless act

The statue's lamp was broken in an vandalism attack in 2005.

The Grade II listed statue was erected in 1914 in honour of Miss Nightingale's pioneering work in nursing.

"It is shame that somebody has damaged such a fine statue," Derby councillor Fareed Hussain said.

"The city spent a lot of money recently to clean up the statue and it is a major attraction in the city."

He said craftsmen would insert a metal bar in the statue's head to give it further stability.

Mr Hussain said the vandalism was probably the result of a mindless act by some drunken yobs.

Police will be looking at CCTV footage to try to establish who caused the damage.

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