There are fears that a recently unveiled statue of Britain’s most prominent medieval Jewish woman has been damaged by antisemitic vandals.
The life-size bronze statue of 13th-century businesswoman Licoricia and her son, Asher, which was installed at Winchester Discovery Centre in February, seems to have been disfigured around the boy’s face. The figure’s eye, nose and mouth appear to have been peeled.
Local Jewish resident David del Monte said: “I fear that this could be an act of antisemitic vandalism.
“I think the council may need to look at improved CCTV for the statue. While most of Winchester has welcomed the artwork, there are some who have not.”
The JC was passed evidence of one local expressing hostile views about the statue. The resident wrote online:
“This is the council that took such pride in erecting a statue of a medieval loan shark and her slum-landlord progeny.”
The statue was unveiled at a ceremony featuring the Chief Rabbi in February this year.
Tony Stoller, a trustee of the Licoricia of Winchester Appeal, told the JC there appeared to be “minor damage” to the statue.
“The charity is currently seeking advice on how it could be repaired”, he added.
Mr Del Monte added: “The peeling of the varnish from the statue may be from a fizzy drink or it could be something worse.”