The mosaic at Thurnscoe train station was installed in December 2017 as part of a wider effort to improve the environment of Thurnscoe by Big Local, and in particular the train station underpass.
Part of the Under the Tracks project, the mosaic was designed by artist Frances Taylor, who worked with local school children to add the finishing touches to a work which celebrates the industrial heritage and wildlife of the area.
Big Local Thurnscoe development worker Alison Vint said the group had been monitoring vandalism at the site and making minor repairs, but a recent spike - caused by ‘probably just half a dozen kids’ - had caused too much damage for the mosaic to be repaired on site.
Alison said: “We are all really disappointed that this has happened to a piece of public art work that has been on display since 2017.
“We have shown many other Big Local groups the art work, and Northern have also signposted community groups to see the mosaic, so it is very sad that we now need to take it down.
“The repairs will be costly and we are currently exploring other options for the display but we ask the wider community to support us and report any incidences of anti-social behaviour.”
The mosaic will have to be taken down in its entirety, with Frances taking it to her studio to replace the tiles that have been broken off.
Alison estimates the repairs and further work to protect the mosaic - such as covering or moving it - will run into hundreds of pounds.
As a result Big Local will now consider whether to remove the artwork completely, reinstall it with some protective measures or move it onto the platform where it can be monitored through the station’s CCTV.
“We don’t want to repair it just for it to happen again,” said Alison.
“Everything’s vulnerable in the public realm and subject to anti-social behaviour, we’re not naive to that. We didn’t think nothing would happen, but we’ve got to do our best to protect things.
“We are not disheartened.
“We remain committed to making Thurnscoe a ‘better place to live’ despite the actions of a few people who try to spoil it for the rest.
“We have lots of exciting activity coming up including the ‘Go Wild in Thurnscoe’ Sculpture Trail throughout the summer, and an exciting ‘Space Day’ in October.”