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Skate park is ‘ruined’ by profane graffiti vandals
A £380,000 skate park in Oxford that took volunteers 12 years to create has been hit by graffiti vandals.
They spray-painted a penis riding a skateboard, three other phallic symbols and the word “war” at the Meadow Lane Skate Park in Iffley on Thursday night.
Skaters say the attack has “ruined” the skate park for everyone who uses it and “spat in the face” of the community group that runs it.
The park was opened in May after more than a decade of campaigning by the Oxford Wheels Project (OWP).
Project founder Mon Barbour, who also runs the SS20 skate shop on Cowley Road, believes the vandals were the same ones he chased off a week before for spraying a graffiti tag over a city council logo on the site.
He said: “This has upset the skaters, it is a sheer act of vandalism.
“I think this is an act of retribution because I threw them out of the park.”
Mr Barbour called the police and is waiting to hear if anyone has been arrested.
In the meantime he is appealing for any witnesses to get in touch with OWP.
On Friday, 12 volunteers from OWP spent more than seven hours scrubbing off as much of the graffiti as they could.
They used a paint removal solution, with gallons of water to dilute it, which minimises erosion of the concrete surface.
In a bitter tirade on Facebook, OWP chairman Jack Richens highlighted the vandal’s actions.
He wrote: “He’s painted the riding surfaces – it’s everywhere and slags off OWP.
“Genuinely ruined this skate park for everyone.”
The £380,000 funding to build the park was raised by OWP volunteers who received grants and sponsorship from Oxford City Council, Sport England, the National Lottery, Oxfordshire County Council, SS20 Skateboard Store, landfill tax grants body WREN, and the BMW Mini plant in Cowley.
Mr Richens addressed the vandal directly on Facebook, saying: “You’re quite capable as an artist but you’ve just spat in our face.
“For your own personal safety you really need to speak to me and Amanda (Richens).
“Email me, Jack Richens (OWP chairman and Amanda’s son) at info@owp. org.uk.”
No one from Thames Valley Police was available for comment.