Obscene vandalism is finally being removed from a controversial piece of public art in Inverness.
Workers are on site today, on the banks of the River Ness, to remove graffiti from The Gathering Place.
As previously revealed by the Press and Journal, the cost of removing the vandalism was to be met by taxpayers.
In a statement Highland Council called the situation a “total waste of taxpayers’ money”.
The graffiti was first seen in October and November 2021 by members of the public.
Due to high levels of water in the River Ness, Highland Council said attempts to previously remove the graffiti had to be abandoned.
The Gathering Place is a pier-like structure that curves into the River Ness, taking visitors out into the flow of the water.
The artwork has fallen foul of vandals numerous times since it was opened in October 2021.
The structure forms part of Highland Council’s £758,350 River Connections Public Art Programme.
Since it opened there have been a number of obscene comments written along the sides and towards the end of the artwork.
‘Total waste of taxpayers money’
A Highland council spokeswoman said: “Graffiti, while not only criminal, is a total waste of taxpayers’ money and diverts resources from council works and services.
“If anyone witnesses vandalism please report vandals to Police on 101 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
“The council has arranged for the removal of the graffiti with specialist local contractors.
“Due to river levels, attempts to remove the latest graffiti had to be curtailed noting the need to maintain the health and safety of the operatives and the need to maintain the highest standards of care to the natural environment of the river.
“Removal has recommenced as soon as was safe and practical to do so.”
At the time it was launched Highland Council said it would offer people a place to meet up and enjoy some “normality” after the pandemic.