VANDALS have defaced a Grade II-listed Brighton charity building.
The Percy and Wagner almshouses in Lewes Road, parts of which have stood since the 18th century, have been splashed with the luminous orange paint.
The building is owned by the Brighton Almshouses Charity, and the vandalism has been slammed by the city council and the charity.
Chris Morley, chairman of the charity’s trustees, said: “It is very inappropriate to put it there.
“There is also the aspect that this is a listed building.
“The trustees have the responsibility, if anything is put on there, to get approval from the council.
“We would not try to do it for this.
“I do not approve of it in any way.”
He added that the cost of repairing the damage will be “several hundred pounds”.
One of the 12 almshouses was built in 1795, and the houses are designed for the poorer people in society.
To do any work on listed buildings, people must apply to the appropriate body.
Brighton and Hove City Council, which is in charge of authorising changes to listed buildings, is now investigating the damage.
Councillor Julie Cattell, chairwoman of the council’s planning committee, said: “This appears to be a case of damage to property on a grand scale which we would expect the police to look into with the support of the trust.
“It would be good if the person who painted it repaid the charity for the costs this will incur them.
“It’s a heartless thing to do to that lovely old terrace.
“We have established whoever did it had no permission from anyone despite claims to passers-by that they did.”
However, residents at the property disagreed with these views.
They told The Argus they are in favour of the graffiti in comparison to some of the vandalism which has been etched on to the side wall, which is in Elm Grove.
Veronica Claire, 78, said: “I like it. I don’t consider it damage.
“It’s much better than the awful tagging that was there a week before.
“It doesn’t say much to me in terms of giving me a message though.
“But I like the way it has been done.
“I hope it will deter others from tagging.”
Ms Claire spoke to one of the vandals before they started the work.
“They came to my door and asked if they needed permission,” she said.
“I said they did. They just told me they were part of an art group happening in Brighton, and that lots of places are being decorated.
“It only took them a couple of hours at most.”
Her neighbour Alan Beckenham said: “I think graffiti is just the fashion.
“I would often have to wash the old graffiti off. This one is more like a work of art.”
The graffiti was signed off with the Instagram handle @rainbowsnot.
On the social media site, the “artist”, named there as Dpendz DPS but not confirmed in person, posted a picture of the vandalism.
Next to the picture the caption states: “I had big ambitions for this piece, but got slowed down a lot due to unforeseen circumstances, so I wasn’t overjoyed with the result.
“I got quite a bit of unwanted attention whilst trying to paint this. Police, council workers and disgruntled citizens all wanted a word today for some reason.”
Source: The Argus