A community campaigner is calling for Leeds’s decaying and neglected Queen Victoria memorial to be restored by the council – before it’s too late.
The Woodhouse Moor memorial has fallen into disrepair since it was moved to the park from the city centre in 1937, having originally been located near Leeds Town Hall.
The memorial, which was sculpted by George Frampton and unveiled in 1905, is one of 92 historic landmarks featured on an “at risk” list of sites published by the council in June.
The monument has been a target for metal thieves and vandals in recent years, while other parts have either been removed or vanished.
Bill McKinnon, chair of The Friends of Woodhouse Moor, is now calling for the memorial to be restored so it can be enjoyed by future generations.
He said: “At the time of its unveiling, the memorial was hailed as one of the greatest works of modern sculpture ever to have been produced.
“It comprised a bronze statue of the Queen seated on a 30-foot plinth of Portland Stone.
“To either side of the plinth and lower down from the Queen were bronze statues representing Peace and Industry.
“The statue representing Industry was removed to Armley Mills 25 years ago and never returned. The bronze orb is missing from the sovereign’s hand.
“The Portland Stone pedestal is regularly daubed with graffiti and metal thieves have removed decorative bronze lettering from the rear.”
He added: “At the unveiling ceremony, Sir James Kitson MP said it made him proud to think that the children of future generations would look up to the great statue and inquire, “Who was this great queen that our forefathers lived under so long and so happily?”
“The children of the current generation may be the last who can ask this if the memorial isn’t restored soon and protected from further vandalism.”
A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “The state of the memorial is being assessed to inform any future proposals for restoration.”