Police called after man uses paint to deface Basra war veteran statue in Margate

Caught in the act Photo Dan Thompson

By Dan Thompson

A man has defaced a statue in Margate which is modelled on a war veteran who served in Basra during the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Artist Michael Rakowitz’s ‘April Is The Cruellest Month’ depicts Iraq War veteran Daniel Taylor, pointing an accusatory finger at Westminster. Rakowitz worked with Veterans For Peace on the project, and the statue includes objects donated by Taylor and other veterans, as well as by local artists and residents.

Yesterday (Friday) the plinth of Rakowitz’s statue was defaced with red paint. Kent Police were called at around 7pm, after a report that a man was writing graffiti on the artwork.

Officers ordered the man to clean off his vandalism although staining on the statue base remains.

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called at around 7pm on Friday 14 May 2021 regarding a report that a man was writing graffiti on a memorial in Canterbury Road, Margate.

“A patrol attended the scene where officers spoke to a local man in his 40s. They requested he clean off the graffiti and the suspect was then interviewed under caution. Enquiries into the incident are continuing.”

‘April Is The Cruellest Month’ has been installed as part of  England’s Creative Coast: Waterfronts, a series of seven outdoor art commissions made in response to the Essex, Kent and East Sussex coastlines.

The statue sits next to the TS Eliot shelter, and echoes the older statue which is a memorial to the crew of the Margate lifeboat ‘A Friend To All Nations’. That statue, by Frederick T. Callcott, was installed in 1899.

For more information about the statue and the Waterfronts programme, visit www.englandscreativecoast.com

Video with thanks to Jamie Jones


  1. Victoria Pomery stated-this man’s talent is absolute, the greatest art seen in Thanet since Tracy Emin & her manky bed. I shall be putting on his artwork in my cultural art hub later this year.

  2. What is wrong with people, can’t they just leave things alone, all the soldiers that gave their lives and injured this just slaps them in the face, shame on you all.

  3. There’s a notorious defaced of public infrastructure living in Broadstairs.
    It wasn’t him, was it?

    • That was exactly my first thought! Pity the culprit hasn’t been named. I would put money on it being him.

  4. Whats up with people, was passing by in a taxi. My driver, ian reckons he could teach the anti social artist some tricks.

    • I see what you did there! And yes, my first thought was that too. Looks like he may have got away with it yet again.

  5. If the police caught him in the act and made him remove the graffiti then he is guilty of causing criminal damage. Therefore he should be charged.

  6. This twat, along with others who think it’s ok to spray paint on anything other than their own property, need a really BIG slap…….twats.

  7. Have you been drinking and driving sir? “Yes” Well, pull over till you sober up sir. What a farce.

    • If you don’t see the point to this statute then l feel sorry for you and others that think the same

    • I served in the last of the National Service army, and 60 years ago found myself in the British Southern Cameroons, under canvas, and in a jungle swamp! We were there to provide so called civil support as the local police couldn’t handle the plebiscite taking place. We often faced angry mobs, with no riot protection, in our shorts, and had to fix bayonets, before reading out the Riot Act, which gave us legal authority to shoot! One soldier would be given a blank round behind his back, so no one knew which one had it when we fired. I only learned about ten years ago our dead were flown out from a secret air strip, in the jungle, otherwise I thought they were buried where they fell! Hands up everyone who knows where Cameroon is (Its West Africa) I still don’t understand what this stature is for, as there were plenty of military campaigns after the end of the second world war, involving British armed forces! Our dead are commemorated on the National Arboretum!

  8. There are other places this man has daubed his pink paint in Margate. He needs to be made to clean them off at the Hospital entrance junction on Ramsgate Road and the dolphin statuette on the seafront. He has almost certainly done it elsewhere too. Has any police officer noticed !

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