A COMMUNITY has been left 'heartbroken' after a new sculpture featuring brightly coloured padlocks was hit by vandals.

Blackwood's eye-catching Love Locks project had only been installed on Monday, May 31, in a bid to lift people's mood after the pandemic.

However, organisers this week discovered the sculpture had been vandalised, with obscenities scrawled on the gate and locks. There were also trolleys and rubbished dumped at the site.

South Wales Argus: Vandalism in Blackwood

The vandalised structure

Director of NoNaffArt, which developed the project, Tania Bryan said: "We are literally heartbroken over the mindless destruction of our beautiful Love Lock sculpture. It was only installed a few days ago.


"So much work and planning went into this piece to make it special for all the families involved in this project. We know the love and commitment that went into each lock and we actually resin coated each lock to protect them as much as we could. It is especially sad that some individuals would want to deface young children’s and families work, especially locks dedicated to a family member that has passed due to COVID.

South Wales Argus: Some of the decorative bits that violently pulled off some of the beautiful locks and found on the floor, these were resin coated and too tough to fall off.

Some of the decorative bits that violently pulled off some of the locks and found on the floor, these were resin coated and too tough to fall off

"It is sadly always a risk placing art in the public domain and we really hoped this time it would be different as it was a gift to the community from its community. We hoped it would be left alone and cherished."

NoNaffArt posted on their Facebook page: "After such a positive week and the unveiling of the Love Locks sculpture we were faced with this today (the vandalism).

"How utterly disgusting and disrespectful to all those that took part in this project... It is literally heartbreaking to see that some individuals have not only defaced our beautiful sculpture, but written foul words onto locks created by children and families."

People have been venting their disappointment in the community.

Nicola Helen König said: "That is absolutely disgusting. What kind of sad scummy people would do something like that? They just can't leave anything alone."

Travey Franklyn-Lewis said: "This is so disgraceful beyond words! All the hard work that was put into this! It is disgusting how some people think they have the right to do this! They should be ashamed."

South Wales Argus: Love lock project

How the completed sculpture looked

Donnamarie White and her family made locks in memory of her dad and their son. The NONaffArt page admin said in response that they are going to use some paint and touch up and clean off what they can. That they will also try to get the police to keep an eye on them.

The team have painted over what they could and fixed it up. However when they went back up, there were a few damaged locks as well. They are looking into CCTV.

As the artist, Tania Bryan instantly took action to repair the vandalism straight away. She has notified the Blackwood Miners institute of the incident to ensure that a maintenance program is put in place.