Gromit Statues Vandalized in Bristol

The English city is opening a "Gromit Unleashed" trail with 80 sculptures to raise money for its children's hospital.

LONDON - Two statues of Gromit, one of the lead characters of stop-motion animation film series Wallace & Gromit, have been vandalized in the English city of Bristol.

The city put up 80 5-foot tall sculptures of the dog on its streets this weekend to raise money for "Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal," a charity that is raising money for the Bristol Children's Hospital. The statues will form a "Gromit Unleashed" trail, which is set to be formally opened on Monday for 10 weeks. It was organized with Wallace & Gromit series producer Aardman Animations, which is based in Bristol.

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TV network ITV reported that a Gromit statue designed and painted by actress Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) was vandalized as its tail was snapped off Friday night. The sculpture, called "Poetry In Motion," was removed to be repaired.

"We’re very sorry to say that late Friday night, one of our Gromit Unleashed sculptures was damaged," the organizers said in a statement this weekend. "We are dismayed that anyone would want to damage one of the Gromit sculptures, which have been created to raise money to treat sick children in hospital and to provide something for everyone in Bristol to enjoy. We have reported this to the police and are currently assessing the damage to the sculpture."

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The neck of a second sculpture, dubbed "Carosello Gromit," was damaged over the weekend, according to ITV. It also was taken away for repair.

The financial damage wasn't immediately clear. It also wasn't clear who damaged the statues.

Some of the Gromit sculptures were brought into Bristol on a steam train by Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park earlier this week.

Twitter: @georgszalai