'Devastating': Liverpool LGBTQ artwork feared to have been vandalised within days of being installed
LGBTQ artworks installed after a series of homophobic attacks in Liverpool are feared to have been vandalised.
The two pieces, which are part of an outdoor exhibition in the city centre, were destroyed within days of being installed.
The exhibition's organiser Homotopia said it was 'devastating' for the queer community in the city, and say they feel 'frightened' after the incident.
Rosa Kusabbi’s artwork ‘Hate Has No Place in Liverpool’ which was on display in Liverpool One came down on Friday, 30 October, night.
Ben Youdan’s artwork ‘Queer With No Fear’ was removed and found two streets over destroyed on Tuesday, 2 November, night - just four days later.
Both incidents have been reported to Merseyside Police and are being investigated.
Kolade Lapido, who was subjected to a homophobic attack in the city in September, says it was "frustrating" that "there's someone around the corner [always] trying to break us down".
He added that people needed to be educated to "unlearn all the misogyny and hatred" they had been 'taught' before.
The pieces were commissioned as part of 'Queer in the City', which aims to make Liverpool a safe space for the LGBTQ community.
Homotopia said: "As an organisation we are working tirelessly to make Liverpool a safe space for our queer community.
"However, we want to emphasise it is not the sole responsibility of LGBTQIA people to keep each other safe, it is everyone's responsibility."
Speaking about Homotopia Kolade said it was "so important" groups like it were around to give queer people a space "to feel seen, heard, motivated, excited and liberated in a time and world where so many people are doing the opposite."
Councillor Harry Doyle said he was "saddened and angry" at the vandalism.
"Hate and discrimination has no place here", he said. "I’m absolutely disgusted that this bigotry is playing out on our streets. Cameras around the area are being looked at."
One of the art works was situated on Concert Square, while another was in the Liverpool ONE shopping centre.
A spokesperson for Liverpool ONE, said: “We are extremely saddened by what has happened.
"We want to replace this important piece of art and would like to work alongside Homotopia to do this and find the most suitable location for this to be positioned.”