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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Dewar statue damage 'not criminal'
Donald Dewar statue
The glasses on the statue have been damaged
Police investigating damage to the statue of Donald Dewar say they are satisfied that there was no malicious or criminal intent.

Prime Minister Tony Blair unveiled the 9ft tall bronze statue of Scotland's first first minister last Tuesday.

Officers examined CCTV footage of the statue, situated on Glasgow's Buchanan Street, after the glasses on the memorial were bent out of shape.

They believe late night revellers may have caused the damage while placing a traffic cone on the statue's head.

It has become part of the culture in Glasgow in recent years to place traffic cones on the heads of statues in the city

Supt Robin Howe
Strathclyde Police

The CCTV pictures captured a young man placing a traffic cone on the head of the statue in the early hours of last Thursday morning.

Police said that as he climbed down from the statue it appeared pressure was put on the spectacles on the face of the statue which possibly resulted in them being damaged.

Strathclyde Police Supt Robin Howe said: "It has become part of the culture in Glasgow in recent years to place traffic cones on the heads of statues in the city.

"It would appear, however, that the statue of Mr Dewar is not going to withstand this type of prank."

Father of devolution

On several occasions since the statue was unveiled last Tuesday, officers have removed late-night revellers from the plinth of the statue outside the Royal Concert Hall.

Police said some people intended to have a souvenir photograph taken of themselves with the "Father of Devolution".

Officers studied CCTV footage after a section of the spectacles on the statue was reported broken over the weekend.

The glasses appeared crooked and dented.

The prime minister condemned the incident and said it was "particularly upsetting."

But police said they were satisfied there was no malicious or criminal intent involved and no offence had been committed.

First Minister Jack McConnell said that the police analysis that there was no malicious intent did not excuse the damage.

And he urged those responsible to donate money to help pay for the repair.

Tony Blair
Tony Blair said the incident was upsetting

The statue was created by 35-year-old artist Kenny Mackay, whose workshop is in Mr Dewar's former constituency of Anniesland.

At the unveiling, Mr Blair described Mr Dewar's political career as "very much a triumph of substance over style.

"Substance was all that ever mattered to him. With Donald, style never stood a chance."

The prime minister said the founding figure of Scottish devolution was "without doubt one of the towering political figures of his generation".

See also:

13 May 02 | Scotland
Blair condemns statue vandals
07 May 02 | Scotland
Blair unveils Dewar memorial
15 Jan 02 | Scotland
Dewar collection goes on display
11 Oct 01 | Scotland
Anniversary tribute to Donald Dewar
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