Stan Laurel painting in Ulverston defaced by vandals
A painting of comedian Stan Laurel, that hangs outside a museum in his home town of Ulverston in Cumbria, has been damaged by vandals.
The 10ft (3m) high portrait was created by a group of local street artists in 2014 as part of a festival celebrating his birth.
The image, close to the entrance to the Laurel and Hardy Museum, was daubed with green fluorescent paint.
A museum spokesman described the attack as "disappointing".
Cumbria Police are investigating.
The museum spokesman said: "The mural was done as a live installation by some local artists during a one-day festival to celebrate Stan's birthday last year called Another Fine Fest.
"It has been hugely popular since it was done, with hundreds of photos taken and shared via social media, a real advert for the town.
"We are pretty gutted at what's happened. One of the things we aim to do is inject our amazing town of Ulverston with some extra added colour, beauty and original, awe-inspiring art. The fluorescent green is colourful, but it certainly isn't beautiful, artistic or original."
A spokesman for Primal Science, the group of street artists that created the painting, added: "Thank you to our fellow street artists for their contribution, but unfortunately their efforts have left a lot to be desired.
"We are fans of spontaneous artistic expression, but only when done with skill and creativity and with respect to the surroundings and others' artistry."
The group said they planned to restore the painting free of charge.
Stan Laurel was born in Argyll Street, Ulverston, in June 1890, the son of a showman, before going on to star in 106 films with his partner Oliver Hardy.