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Controversial public artwork The Gathering Place, set by the River Ness in Inverness, is the victim of vandalism for the SECOND time in a week

By Louise Glen

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The Gathering more graffiti..
The Gathering more graffiti..

A vandal has today painted "legalise cannabis" on the controversial Gathering Place artwork in Inverness.

Unbelievably, the words appeared during a short break for workmen who were removing the first vandalism, after a "tag" or name was written within days of the artwork being completed.

Highland Council major new public artwork the Gathering Place - graffiti...Picture: Callum Mackay..
Highland Council major new public artwork the Gathering Place - graffiti...Picture: Callum Mackay..

It is the second time the controversial new riverside artwork in Inverness has been the target of vandalism within days

The Gathering Place, which has been designed as an amphitheatre with curved walls on either side of the River Ness near Bught Park, and has divided public opinion and prompted heated debate.

It forms part of Highland Council’s £758,350 River Connections Public Art Programme, and was unveiled last Thursday.

Today, graffiti appeared on the structure, which is created from Clashach stone.

A workman told the Courier: "We were here to remove the vandalism we sanded down the area, and took a short break.

"While we were away someone came along and wrote the words 'Legalise Cannabis'."

The police have been invited to comment.

locator - The Gathering more graffiti..
locator - The Gathering more graffiti..

After the first piece of vandalism, a police spokesman said: "Officers are carrying out enquiries into vandalism at the Gathering Place artwork at Ness Island, Inverness, that happened over the weekend.

Police Constable Derek Ferguson said: “This is a mindless act of vandalism on an artwork that has only recently been installed and this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.

“We would like to speak to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious. If you can help with our enquiries please call us on 101, quoting reference number NN/5836/21.”

READ: Controversial new public artwork by River Ness in Inverness is target of vandalism within days of being completed

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