'Disgrace' as youths spotted kicking and climbing on new Mackworth war memorial

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A group of “disgraceful” youths have been spotted kicking and climbing on a new war memorial in Mackworth.

The structure, which cost £18,000 to build, is being installed on a field in Prince Charles Avenue, Mackworth.

The monument is designed as a “contemporary artistic landmark that will provide a place for the contemplation, reflection and remembrance associated with all past and present conflicts.”

But new photographs show two teenagers sitting on the as yet incomplete structure.

The foundations of a new war memorial in Prince Charles Avenue, Mackworth, Derby

The foundations of a new war memorial in Prince Charles Avenue, Mackworth, Derby

Jonathan Cusack, 27, said he heard “loud bangs” and saw a group of teenagers kicking the beams.

He added: “I was walking by and I saw a group of lads kicking, slapping and climbing on the memorial.

“It’s disgraceful really. Whether you like the design of it or not, to deface something which is paying respects to the people who fought for our country makes me sick."

He added: “They also left loads of litter around the memorial too which is just as bad. I dread to think what will happen to it once it’s completed.

“They’ve spent £18,000 building it so I think some kind of fencing needs to be installed around it to protect it from thugs.”

The artist impression of the war memorial in Prince Charles Avenue, Mackworth

The artist impression of the war memorial in Prince Charles Avenue, Mackworth

A spokesman for the Royal British Legion said: “The Legion is greatly disturbed to hear of this incident. War memorials and graves honour the unique contribution and sacrifices of the British Armed Forces. They deserve to be treated with the utmost respect.”

The structure cost £18,000 to build and was funded by section 106 contributions from the sale of the former Derby College site and the Radbourne Lane development – rather than taxpayers' cash.

It is expected to be completed in time for Remembrance Day on November 11.

Some residents have described it as “hideous” and suggested the money could be better spent.

The memorial was designed by artist Peter Maris with the help of local school children. Mr Maris previously urged people to reserve their judgement until it has been completed.