Cambridge Latin graffiti to cost £4,000 to clean

Latin graffiti being cleaned
Image caption It is expected to take two days to clean the graffiti from the houses

Latin graffiti daubed across luxury homes in Cambridge will cost at least £4,000 to clean, the developer said.

Four new five-bedroom river-front houses were painted with the words Locus in Domos Loci Populum on Tuesday.

It is thought the vandals intended the phrase, splashed on the £1.25m homes to mean "local homes for local people".

Cleaning will take two days and the £4,000 bill could rise "substantially" if it does not come off straight away, developer HC Moss (Builders) Ltd said.

The graffiti, believed to be white gloss paint, appeared overnight on the brand new properties overlooking the River Cam in Water Street, Chesterton.

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People living nearby have said the classically-inspired messages, which appear to be a protest against the development, could "only happen" in the university city.

Image copyright Richard Taylor
Image caption Four of the £1.25m houses were vandalised on Tuesday

Social media was awash with arguments about the meaning of the phrase and jokes about elitist vandals.

Even Cambridge University's Professor of Classics, Mary Beard, admitted the graffiti was "a bit hard to translate... but I think what they're trying to say is that a lovely place has been turned into houses", she concluded.

In Google Translate, the phrase locus in domos means "room in the house", and loci populum means "local people". It was suggested the vandals may have typed in the phrase "local homes for local people" to come up with their graffiti tags.

"This is the most Cambridge thing ever" and "it's a different class of graffiti in Cambridge", were just some of the additional comments on social media.

However, Paul Ursell, who is tasked with cleaning it and footing the bill, said it was "vandalism - they've damaged our property".

Image caption A specialist company has been brought in to remove the paint
Image copyright Abbotts
Image caption The houses stand on the site of the former Penny Ferry pub

The managing director of the development company said he has had to bring in a specialist contactor who is expected to take two days to repair the damage, at a cost of £4,000.

Mr Ursell said the bill could rise if it takes longer or the task is not straightforward.

Three of the £1.25m houses which were targeted had already been sold, he said.

Cambridgeshire Police are continuing to investigate the graffiti, but no-one has been arrested yet.

Image caption The homes overlook the River Cam

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