The statue of David Bowie in the market square of Aylesbury, England, has been vandalized less than 48 hours after it was unveiled.

The area around the new statue has been hit with graffiti. As Mix96 reports, the ground in front of it reads "Feed the homeless first" and, on the wall behind it, someone spray-painted "RIP DB" twice. Photos show that some paint landed on the base of the Bowie statue.

"I was very disappointed that this has happened, but when I went to see it, it could have been a lot worse," David Stopps, the local music promoter who led the campaign to erect the statue, told the station. "We're busy cleaning it up now. The paint was on the statue, the wall behind and on the pavement. It was about the homeless -- but I do quite a lot for the homeless, which is the irony of the whole thing."

“I want to point out that this statue received precisely £0 of public money," Aylesbury Deputy Mayor Mark Willis told NME. "‘That’s right, £0. It was entirely funded through crowdfunding, by members of the public, myself included. One of the charities I support monthly is Shelter, as homelessness and poverty are absolute scourges on society that need solving.”

Stopps added that cleanup has already begun. "But if anyone turns up with solvents and scrubbing brushes, please don't, because it will damage the statue," he said. "The only thing we're using is soft cloth, fairy liquid and hot water. The man who created the bronze casting is coming up tomorrow to blow torch it off the statue, which is the only way, and then re-waxing it. Tomorrow it should be back to its original condition."

The statue, titled "Earthly Messenger," is believed to be the first one erected in honor of Bowie, and was unveiled following the raising of £115,000. Although Bowie wasn't from Aylesbury, the town is known to fans as the place where he debuted both Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars at the local Friars venue. Stopps has also launched a campaign to have the town renamed "Aylesbowie."


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