'Vote Leave' vandalism daubed on treasured painting at Cliviger home

A retired joiner from Cliviger says he is sickened after his treasured self copy of a Canaletto masterpiece was vandalised in his own home.

Thursday, 17th May 2018, 10:47 am
Updated Thursday, 17th May 2018, 10:51 am
The painting before the damage

Mr Stuart Calderbank (72) had spent four years recreating a famous painting of Venice by the Italian master on the wall of the garage at his home in Park Road, Cliviger, only to discover that someone had daubed 'vote leave' over his work.

Mr Calderbank, who has lived in the village all his life, was a prominent supporter of the Vote Leave campaign leading up to the 2016 Brexit referendum and said he could not understand the mentality behind the vandalism.

He said: "I had been to a 92nd birthday party on Saturday, leaving at 4-50pm and returning home at 10-45pm. The painting was on the wall of my garage but the door had been damaged by a recent car crash and so was open.

The damaged painting

"I couldn't believe it when I saw that someone had vandalised by scrawling 'vote leave' on the painting in cream paint. The words don't show up very well because it was done in cream paint but it will still take many hours to put right.

"I just don't understand the mentality of someone who would do such a thing. I have never been a painter but I saw the Canaletto on a trip to the National Gallery in London and thought I would give it a go. I actually painted my version using Sandtex.

"It took me about four years on and off, and I finished it in 2012."

Mr Calderbank, who also worked as an engineer, said he had reported the incident to police who were investigating it as criminal damage.

It is not the first crime to have taken place at Mr Calderbank's home in recent years. In 2016 a UKIP Vote Leave banner was stolen from outside his home.

He added: "I don't believe this is children. I think this is the pre-meditated act of an adult as the writing is high on the wall and the paint and brush must have been brought by the culprit and taken away again.

"I am willing to offer £100 for proven identification of the culprit and a further £200 leading to conviction."