THE vandalism of a “much-loved” Scottish sculpture with anti-SNP and Covid conspiracy graffiti has been reported to the police as an alleged hate crime.

The complaint was made by Halhill Developments, which owns the site of the DunBear statue in Dunbar, East Lothian.

The sculpture, designed by Kelpies creator Andy Scott, was erected in 2019 as a tribute to famed Scottish environmentalist John Muir.

Police launched an investigation this week after “hang SNP”, “Covid lies” and “no vaccine” were spray painted on the artwork.

Ken Ross from Hallhill Developments Limited said: "We are clearly disappointed and disgusted to see this behaviour and have reported the vandalism of this much-loved sculpture as a hate crime.

“The DunBear is for the people of Dunbar and is a tribute to the work of a son of the town, John Muir, an environmental leader who played a major role in establishing National Parks in the USA.

“It goes without saying that this behaviour cannot in anyway be condoned and would urge those in the community who know anything about it to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident reference 1939."

The National:

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Officers believe the vandalism took place between Thursday September 9 and Friday September 10.

Fences at a nearby housing development also had messages scrawled on them.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "We have received a report of vandalisms to the DunBear statue and fences in Home Avenue, Dunbar."

They added: "Other acts of graffiti using tags such as 'Dist', 'Dist 21' and 'Districkt 21' have also been present in the same areas since April.

"It may be that these acts are unconnected, however officers would still encourage any information relating to these to be passed on."