Kemp Town Aids memorial vandalized
The town’s much-loved AIDS memorial has been vandalized.
The Tay sculpture in New Steine Gardens, Brighton, has been covered in black marker.
The words “RIP Wish” and “Love ya Wish” were scrawled on its base.
Tay was designed by Romany Mark Bruce as a place of reflection and remembrance for those affected by AIDS.
But members of the public were devastated when they discovered the memorial had been vandalized last Friday.
“It’s disappointing, and luckily it’s only happened a few times,” said Romany, who lives across the street from the statue.
“It’s disappointing given that it’s a memorial for people to come and reflect on.
“I spotted it last week and reported it to council.”
The meaning of the writing is not known, although it appears to have been written from someone’s memory.
“I have no idea, I can’t understand,” Romany said.
One person who saw the graffiti took to social media to say, “It’s a sad accusation against our society that people think it’s OK to do this.”
The Argus contacted Brighton and Hove City Council, which is responsible for cleaning graffiti from landmarks in the city.
A spokesperson for the council said: ‘We had not previously been made aware of the graffiti on the New Steine memorial.
“If you see any hateful or offensive graffiti or stickers, please report it through our Environmental Law Enforcement Hotline.”
On Thursday, the graffiti had been removed by the city council.
The AIDS memorial is particularly significant this year as 40 years have passed since the first case in the city.
The first AIDS death in Brighton was recorded in 1984.
In December 2021, an exhibition showing images of people living with HIV was held with the aim of reducing stigma around the virus.
The collection of 25 portraits, coinciding with World AIDS Day on December 1, was on display at the Jubilee Library in Jubilee Street, Brighton, as well as on digital screens in other libraries in Brighton and Hove.