Hands and Molecule sculpture in Ramsgate vandalised with red paint

Hands and Molecule sculpture vandalised Photos Nik Mitchell

Vandals have targeted the Hands and Molecule sculpture at Ramsgate’s West Cliff.

Red paint was thrown over the art work during the weekend.

Photo Nik Mitchell

‘Hands and Molecule’ -a nod to the discovery, development and manufacture of innovative medicines in the county – was sculpted by David Barnes, commissioned by Sustrans, funded by Pfizer Limited and installed by Thanet District Council in 2000.

The bronze is sited as a landmark for the National Cycle Network, which links cycle-paths in Thanet to destinations all over the UK including London, Penzance, Holyhead, Inverness and Belfast.

Photo Brenda Clarke

It is not yet known why the sculpture was targeted.

Photo Nik Mitchell

It has been suggested that it may be because of the connection with Pfizer in Sandwich where the site Discovery Park now houses Instro Precision.

Instro has been the site of several protests -often using red paint – by people who say the company supplies Israel with weapons to kill Palestinian people in Gaza. However, the action group responsible for the Instro demonstration has confirmed they are not responsible for the paint on the sculpture.

A Thanet council team is undertaking the clean up. A council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have been notified about the vandalism to the hands and molecule structure, and the council is responsible for the clean up. Our Minor Works team are in attendance now, working on the sculpture.”


      • Phyllis, ‘woke’ is the sort of term people like Peter use to try and insult those who are ultimately more intelligent and human than him and his ilk.

        The opposite of woke, presumably, is ‘asleep’, as in; oblivious, unaware, uninformed and not connected with reality. I’ll take being called ‘woke’ any day of the week, particularly if it means I am the total opposite of Peter or the many other gammons on the comments section of IOTN.

        • The word Gammon as you are using it Is anti white and Racist. You are just as racist as the people you are ridiculing. Your not woke, your wank. Stop spreading your far left hate.

          • So what if I am ‘wank’? A little bit of self-love, in the privacy of one’s own home is nobody else’s business, surely?

            ‘Gammon’ is not anti-white, or racist. It may shock you to learn that it refers to a specific type of individual, usually a male (though not always) of a certain age who harbours particular racist/xenophobic/misogynistic views, borne out of complete ignorance of the world around them. Also described as ‘Islander Mentality’, ‘Brexiteer’ or ‘Flag F****r’. Last I checked, none of these particular characteristics comes under the headers of ‘skin colour’ or ‘race’, but correct me if I’m wrong.

            As for the spreading of far left hate… And I thought it was us lefties who were the ‘snowflakes’. Are your feelings hurt because someone doesn’t agree with you?

          • Interestingly, James found it more important to criticise me than condemn the vandalism… which says it all really.

          • Your entire argument about the removal of “things they don’t agree with” and how this makes people forget history is absolute nonsense, and I suspect you know that already, deep down.

            Visit Germany, Munich for example… They no longer have and Adolf Hitler Platz, nor do they have swastika symbols and Nazi statues, flags or indeed any other propaganda on public display. This is because it would be inappropriate and wrong to continue to glorify that revolting movement. Instead, they have excellent Documentation Centres / Museums which, in great analytical detail, explain clearly how Nazism was allowed to permeate every aspect of society in Germany.

            Believing that slave merchants, racists and human rights abusers should have their statues / monuments / plaques removed from public view is hardly akin to the Taliban, you silly boy. That said, one thing we ‘may’ agree on is that, with updated contextual explanation, it could be possible to keep some public monuments on display to further educate. But, there is a limit and, in truth, it should be the decision of those who are most likely to be offended by the monument itself. Bristol, the Colston statue and the surrounding community are a prime example of how a community should be able to decide these matters, and not you, or me.

          • And you STILL haven’t condemned the vandalism in Ramsgate. Yes, I am important, but can’t you at least try to comment about that instead of me and what you think are my beliefs?

          • I condemnded the vandalism at 12:51pm… You really must read things more carefully, Peter. D-, must try harder.

          • P.S. Beautifully deflected there, Peter. True gammon stylee… I give you a perfect example of how the removal of historic items doesn’t mean the rewriting or erasing of history, and you carry on talking nonsense. First class.

          • I’m sorry, Peter. I didn’t realise there was a strict time limit on the explicit condemnation of petty vandalism. Did I miss the deadline? If you could point me in the direction of the rules, that would be great. Always keen to learn.

          • No deadline, it’s just that you gave Peter Checksfield more priority than the woke-like vandalism.

            Perfectly understandable I suppose.

          • There you go again making ignorant assumptions… How do you know this was ‘woke’ vandalism? Besides which, is ‘woke’ vandalism worse than ‘racist’ vandalism, or perhaps ‘ignorant’ vandalism? Can you point me in the direction of the scale you are using?

          • Don’t waste your time more interested in what you say rather than to condemn the disgusting act of vandalism, says it all , as I say don’t waste your time fella

        • Regarding your 2.55 comment, there’s a huge difference between a monument/statue/building etc being a glorification of whatever it may depict and the way it should be perceived in a modern context. Wanting to delete reminders of history is nothing more than a rewriting of history and the inability of the educational establishments to explain why the structures came into being in the context of their time and why in restrospect and the thinking of today ( with the advantage of hindsight and cultural/intellectual development along with the luxuries of modern living) actions of the past should no longer be seen as correct.
          Removal, deletion, cancelling are little more than the methods of the intellectually lazy forcing their views on others.

  1. sadly its difficult to tell the difference between art and vandalism nowadays ? and we are definitely leading the way in the uk with graffiti in thanet – and we never see one prosecution. is this local obsession with ” art ” fueling it ?

  2. “Woke” means Awake. I’m staggered that so many want to live asleep even when awake and some want to turn every story into an anti-woke narrative.

  3. Peter is correct – and this of course attracts the comments from the wokes such as Phyllis, James and Ruth who are the self-righteous, self-appointed, self-serving guardians of opinions that nobody else is entitled to oppose – more especially the gammons.

    I am just waiting for them to tell us that the red paint was a legitimate, peaceful protest against something and therefore totally appropriate, lawful and therefore to be applauded . . .

    • Again, John, I am perfectly happy to be referred to as ‘woke’. The people, such as yourself, who use this term as an insult are the very people I am glad I share no opinion or association with. You and Peter are absolutely entitled to your opinions, I just happen to think they are based on untruths and ignorance. That is my opinion and here I am expressing it.

      So far as this ‘protest’ goes, no, I do not agree with it. Then again, given nobody yet knows what the protest is against, it is hard to say anything much about it at all.

      • “I am just waiting for them to tell us that the red paint was a legitimate, peaceful protest against something and therefore totally appropriate, lawful and therefore to be applauded . . .”

        This wanton act of vandalism and criminal damage is to be deplored.

        • Would you call (say) the tearing down of Colston’s statue in Bristol “vandalism”? I certainly would, unlike the pro-vandal (when it suits them) woke-brigade.

          • It really does take a special kind of idiot to argue against the removal of the Colston statue. Do you even understand just how awful his actions were? Do you have any concept of the misery, pain and suffering that man caused in the name of personal profit? The fact you would try to defend that says an awful lot about you, and none of it good.

          • Should we tear down statues of Romans, and rename London as it is a derivative of Londinium? After all, they were colonialists and slavers who treated us Britons appallingly… It is ALL ancient history.

            My only interest in Colston from a 21st Century point of view is the wonderful theatre that was until very recently named after him, and where on 19th April 1983 I saw an excellent concert by Jerry Lee Lewis.

          • It isn’t ALL ancient history though, is it? The Romans departed over 1,600 years ago, vs. Colston popping his clogs around 300 years ago, and slavery continuing, legally, until 1833 and, illegally, continuing to this very day, right here in the UK.

            You clearly aren’t a stupid person, so I would ask, again, if you really think your position is defensible. I note you have again ignored the very concise example I’ve given of how Germany preserves and teaches its history.

          • Oh, and I really did try to ignore this point, but had you forgotten that Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13 year old cousin? Excellent piano player, dirty nonce, it would seem. Perhaps we should have a statue of him as well? Just in case people forget…

          • As a Jew, who lost (albeit distant) relatives in the concentration camps, I need no reminder of Nazi atrocities, nor do I feel the need to give an anonymous person my opinion on them via the internet.

          • Deflection again Petey, old boy! That doesn’t wash. The example of how Germany remembers and teaches its history perfectly highlights how misguided you are on the matter, whether you are Jewish or not. In fact, one would have thought that, as a Jew, you would be even more keen to see proper recognition, acknowledgement and education on the rise of the far right and its evils, no?

            Lastly, and let’s be honest, you are always on here giving people your opinion. So where is the difference? Is your opinion more valid than mine or anyone else’s? I am not anonymous, you know my name. Why would you need to know more? To what end?

            The reality is, you are looking silly, your position on this has been found wobbly at best, and now you’re deflecting.

          • Tut tut, Mr Checksfield, no deflection! I tell you what, you answer an honest question with a straight answer and I will give you my full name, blood group and inside leg measurement, if it makes you feel better. Deal?

          • No, I’ve asked the question on here, quite clearly and concisely, you’ve just continued to deflect. If you can actually answer the question, rather than deviate, I’ll share my full name with the goodbergers of Thanet, here on this very thread. You’ll forgive me for not sharing my blood group or inside leg measurement, that was just for comedic effect.

  4. Vandalism does seem to be on trend in Thanet.

    Plenty of tdc cctv around that area, hopefully the cameras actually work and the vandal can be identified.

    See so much mindless vandalism in thanet, graffiti every where. It can be stopped !

  5. Am I the only person who thinks the red paint addition looks amazing? Who cares if it’s a protest or not, you can interpret it however you like but to me it says something about blood on the hands of those in power. I think it’s very moving and clearly not just paint slapped on randomly. I think it’s been placed quite carefully and artfully. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone owns up. I’m aware it’s destruction of one artists work to suit someone else’s agenda but that doesn’t mean it can’t be striking and beautiful in the process.

    • “Blood on their hands”is exactly what I thought after seeing the photo and reading the article. I agree with Liz. It is not on private property, it is not graffiti.

  6. Similar red paint was put on the memorial next to the lifeboat statue in Margate earlier this year. It is also daubed all over street furniture in Thanet too. The police caught the man and made him clean it off at the memorial but none of the other places have been cleaned. The police detectives need to go revisit this man as there is a pattern here.

  7. What the **** sake is wrong with people. We are far too soft in this country on the people that do this sort of thing (if they are caught!) 😡

  8. Hold on, James is racist because he used the word “gammon”? Thank heavens he wasn’t eating that with chips. What an asinine and silly comment, unworthy of the pages of this excellent paper. James, a pleasure to read your thoughtful comments.

  9. James, you know Gammon is a racist anti white slur. You would never use this slur against a person of colour only white people. The only thing that shocks me is the blatant anti white racism shown by many of todays modern left wing fascists. Your hate spreading ignorant views are disgusting

    • Oh dear, Concerned, we are quite the ‘snowflake’, aren’t we? I’m using the word snowflake as I suspect it may be part of your vernacular.

      There may well be gammon of colour, but alas, living in Thanet, where the vast majority are indiginous white British (despite what the gammon may tell you), I have only ever had the misfortune of encountering white, middle-aged gammon. I will be happy to correct that statement upon the event of encountering gammon of any other colour or denomination.

      On another note, I’m not entirely sure you understand what fascism is. Please, read a book or, at the bare minimum, Google it before making a complete tit out of yourself. And there you are, with the audacity to tell me I’m ignorant… Wow.

      • James, I am full aware of what fascism is and I am starting to think that you do not. Are you that stupid to think that fascism only exists within the far right ? I suggest you might want to research fascism, you might actually learn something.

        Gammon IS an offensive slur as you are fully aware yet you continue to use it to spread your anti white hate filled agenda. Once again, You truly do disgust me.

        • What you mean is YOU are offended by the term and, because you’re offended by it, we should all stop using it. How very ‘woke’ of you.

          Methinks there is more than just a whiff of the Gammon about you. Then again, I am one of those awful self-loathing white, left-wing fascists… You are right to be disgusted, and concerned.

          • James. The problem with you and a lot of the woke is that you have become the thing you despise, you have become the bigots and racists.

            I’m pretty sure that many years ago people defended the N word. How wrong they were then and how wrong you are are now. One day, hopefully you will look back and realise how intolerant you have become. It’s time you stopped preaching your moral superiority because you are no better than the racists you despise. You are not the saviour, you are now part of the problem.

        • “You and a lot of the woke” may well be my favourite sweeping generalisation of all time. Thank you for brightening up an otherwise dreary November evening.

          I am absolutely, unapologetically intolerant of people such as you and Peter. Your outdated, unwanted, Little Englander view of the world is everything that is wrong with this country. Based on what I have seen on this website, it wouldn’t be difficult to be morally superior to the likes of you and Peter, so I shall sleep soundly in my bed tonight, safe in the knowledge that I have total disregard for you and your antiquated opinions.

  10. i am afraid i live in the here and now , and i cant have sleepless nights about germany 80 years ago , or the slave trade centuries ago , half of the time a lot of it is a smoke screen as to what is realy going on now, we need vandalism and grafitti in thanet adressing now in 2021 !

  11. Yet more proof of your intolerance and bigotry. Keep preaching your blinkered and incorrect viewpoints, your only making yourself look the fool. Bigots such as yourself always get found out sooner rather than later. Morally you are in déficit. To quote the great Mr T “pity the fool” James I definitely pity you.

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