INCIDENTS of vandalism and violence in Bridport have been met with outrage as a newly installed sculpture was toppled over by yobs.

The sculpture in Riverside Gardens was vandalised just a year after it was placed in the public gardens as part of a town sculpture trail.

The damage to the Rock Woman sculpture was branded ‘deeply saddening and shameful’ by Bridport Town Council.

The incident comes after a recent spate of anti-social behaviour and violence which saw a noticeboard on Pasture Way in Bridport set on fire in the early hours of Wednesday, August 30 and an assault in Downes Street in the early hours of Thursday, August 31.

The Rock Woman is one of 10 sculptures donated to Bridport by local artist Greta Berlin.

The artwork represents a woman overcoming repression and misogyny, and the baby she is carrying is about hope and new beginnings.

This is the second time the sculpture has been vandalised, Greta said, and it has now been returned for a second time to her west Dorset studio to be repaired.

She added: "This is serious vandalism. It's really sad that people who have this urge to do this cannot stop and think, they don't have to destroy the sculpture.

"I don't know if it's because of where this particular sculpture is or because of what this particular sculpture is that it has been targeted.

"There's an element of politics with a small 'p' about it and it's about the misogny women face every day."

The town council spokesman added: “I’d encourage whoever did this to think about these themes and what their actions say about their attitude towards them.

“And if you can’t do that, just think about the time and effort that Greta put into her work, and the kindness she has shown in giving these sculptures to Bridport, her favourite town.”

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: The vandalised Rock Woman sculpture The vandalised Rock Woman sculpture (Image: Bridport Town Council)

The town council is urging anyone with information about what happened to the sculpture to contact them in strictest confidence by calling 01308 456722 or emailing

Speaking about the noticeboard vandalism and the Downes Street assault, Bridport Mayor David Bolwell said it is ‘sobering’ that the incidents came after a ‘wonderful week of celebrations’ in the town.

In his latest blog, he wrote: “It is rather sobering that we seem to have had a violent assault in the town closely followed by a Parish Council notice board being deliberately set on fire.

“Although these two events are extreme for Bridport it is a reminder that no town is immune from antisocial behaviour and unfortunately it seems that even in Bridport, where so much good happens daily, not everyone is prepared to live in harmony and respect other people and property.

“The two events are matters for the police but seem to have taken place in the early hours of the morning and as far as the violence is concerned I am horrified at this shocking news and I can’t believe this has happened in Bridport.”

  • Enquiries are continuing into the incident in Downes Street, police say.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Mike Brown, of West Dorset police, said: “Detailed enquiries have been continuing into the incident that occurred on Sunday 27 August 2023.

“Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team can be approached while on patrol by anyone with information or concerns.

“We are continuing to work with our partners to prevent and deal with any crime or anti-social behaviour in the area to protect our communities.”