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Historic urn back on display in Rococo Garden following vandalism

By EchoLauraC  |  Posted: March 28, 2014

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Paul Moir and Mark Hancock of Centreline stonemasons

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A 270-year-old urn, destroyed by vandals, has been restored to its former glory.

Thousands of visitors to the Rococo Garden in Painswick will once again be able to enjoy the historic feature after it was pushed off its plinth by mindless trespassers in January.

Chief executive of the gardens, Paul Moir, said he was delighted with the work carried out by Centreline stonemasons.

The heavy ornament, dating back to the 18th Century, had a chunk chipped from its bowl and other smaller pieces of damage caused when it fell four feet and hit the ground in January.

Mr Moir said he was left devastated and feared the urn, which he described as part of the garden’s history, could not be mended.

But he has been delighted with the work.

He said: “When it happened we secured the area and saved all the bits that had come off.

“The stonemasons were able to put them back on the urn, like a 3D jigsaw and piece it back together.

“If you look closely you can see the repair, but it is 18th Century and like anything of that age it has withered over time and almost faded so fortunately it is not that obvious.

“It never ceases to amaze me what stonemasons can do; putting things back together and recreating things.

“I am very pleased and was pleasantly surprised.”

Mr Moir believes teenagers were behind the attack and said the garden, which attracts around 30,000 people a year, had stepped up security.

He kept tight-lipped about the cost of the repairs, but said no more criminal damage had occurred in the gardens since the vandalism of January.

He said: “It is incredibly heavy and would need around three people to lift it.

“We believe the people that did the damage were teenagers and could possibly be local.

“They probably had no idea of the worth of the urn, but we have increased security since the incident.”

The urn had been situated near the Rococo Eagle House at the top of the garden for about the past 40 years.

Mr Moir said two boys and a girl were seen around the area during the vandalism on January 18, this year.

On the same day, another modern ornament was also pushed over at around midday.

Gloucestershire Constabulary have investigated the incident, but no arrests have been made.

A spokesman for the police said at the time of the incident two male teenagers and a girl with straight, shoulder-length hair were seen in Gyde Road, near the Rococo Garden, later the same afternoon.

The garden, named after its frivolous use for parties in Georgian times, has been open to the public for 30 years.

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