ONE of the city’s historic landmarks has been defaced by graffiti.

The George IV statue near the north gate entrance to the Royal Pavilion in Brighton was erected in 1828 by public subscription.

But yesterday morning it was found to have been vandalised.

Brighton and Hove City Council and conservation groups in the city were horrified to find a crude image of a disturbing creature sprayed on to the stone plinth holding up the giant bronze statue.

A spokeswoman for the Brighton Society in Surrenden Park, a group formed in 1974 to help conserve historic features in the city, said members were shocked to find such a lack of respect for monuments in the city.

She said the society was always against graffiti and tried to prevent it wherever possible.

She said: “We are always concious of the graffiti in this city.

“There is so much of it and we try our best where we can to raise awareness of it and try and encourage more control over it.

“It is particularly concerning to see that old historic features of the city are being targeted.

“We voice our concerns to the council about the graffiti in a bid to make sure we work together and tackle this issue that is facing the city.

“Brighton and Hove is invisible under the graffiti that floods the streets and we are trying to bring everyone’s attention to it to stop it and put an end to it.”

Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, spoke out against graffiti in the city in response to hearing about someone defacing the George IV statue.

She said: “Graffiti tagging is a terrible and escalating blight on our beautiful city.

“This type of vandalism creates ugly eyesores in our streets and neighbourhoods.

“And it costs the council, and therefore our taxpayers, thousands of pounds every year to clear up.”

She said the council spends about £75,000 a year removing graffiti from walls in the city.

The council is only responsible for cleaning its own buildings and property, and not private property, unless the graffiti is obscene or offensive.

The council said it was in the process of sending someone to clean the statue and restore it back to its normal state.

Cllr Mitchell said: “We have recently agreed a citywide graffiti strategy that demonstrates how we will work with other partners such as the police and businesses to tackle the graffiti scourge.

“If you see any graffiti you can report it online at or by calling 01273 2929292.”

The monument holds an important historic status in Brighton and Hove.

During George IV’s role as Prince Regent, he commissioned the architect John Nash to build the Pavilion which stands just behind him.

This statue was later erected to honour him for his contribution to the city.