TWO men have been arrested after a distinctive statue in the grounds of Hereford Cathedral was vandalised.

The statue of composer Sir Edward Elgar was daubed with white paint during the early hours of yesterday morning (Monday).

Police were alerted to the criminal damage by CCTV operators who spotted two people spraying graffiti onto houses close to the cathedral just after midnight.

Two men, aged 22 and 21, were arrested shortly afterwards in nearby Gwynne Street.

“As this incident involved a well-loved monument of such local significance, we are taking it particularly seriously," said PC Paul Hunter from Hereford Police Station.

“The two men in custody are being questioned about their activities in the area around the cathedral last night.

"If anyone is aware of any further offences that took place overnight or if they witnessed any suspicious activity, please get in touch.

“Meanwhile, Herefordshire Council and the cathedral authorities are liaising over getting the Elgar statue cleaned and looking its best again.”

PC Hunter can be contacted via the non-emergency police number 101, quoting reference number 12s 27/01/14.