Sunderland residents have expressed anger and disbelief after the “Propellers of the City” sculpture, located in Keel Square, was smashed yesterday by vandals in a grotesque act of disrespect towards the area’s Maritime heritage.
The sculpture, designed by acclaimed architect Stephen Broadbent, was installed in the square in 2015. It contains over 500 embedded photograph of the city’s shipbuilding history, including memories of many people’s family members. Broadbent had quoted on the opening of the artwork that:
“Over 600 years the ‘propellers of this city’ were undoubtedly its shipyard workers, an endeavour resulting in Sunderland becoming the largest shipbuilding town in the world. Our efforts are of course a shadow of their colossal achievement, but on behalf of all the designers and makers I sincerely hope this memorial will continue to turn and honour the unsung heroes of Sunderland who built a great city on the Wear”
However, by yesterday it was discovered that the glass façade around the wheel had been smashed. Some people blamed drunken yobs falling onto it, although no suspects are yet to be identified.
It is not yet clear how much the damage will amount to, but it is widely hoped that this will be addressed and fixed quickly.