Maggie Hambling’s scallop sculpture on Aldeburgh beach attacked … again

The Scallop, Aldeburgh

When Maggi Hambling’s sculpture dedicated to Benjamin Britten and given to the people of the composer’s hometown Aldeburgh was vandalised in January of last year, police said they were ‘investigating’ the attack described by the local council as ‘mindless’.

Twelve months later and it seems the sculpture has been vandalised again. And if reports are accurate, it looks like it could be the same person (or persons doing it), someone with a preference for magnolia paint it seems.

Not everyone appreciates the sculpture on Aldeburgh beach, some dismissing it as an eyesore. Campaigns have been mounted for it’s removal. Similar campaigns have been fought to keep it. Fortunately the latter won out, but clearly not without a certain amount of bitterness still hanging around.

Shame. I rather like it myself. And contrary to the idea that it spoils the vista, I can see how like the music Britten wrote contributes to Aldeburgh’s global reputation, so Hambling’s original and arresting creation does the same.

What’s sickening – as far as I can make out – is that this isn’t opportunistic vandalism. Somehow that would be easier to process through. This is organised.  And that needs to be dealt with, because it’s getting tiresome now. And it’s hugely disrespectful to Hambling, to Britten and to all those who love both their work and Aldeburgh.


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