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Vandalism forces a redesign on the Phoenix Initiative

Vandals have forced the design team behind the Stirling-shortlisted Phoenix Initiative in Coventry city centre to rethink its designs.

Following repeated attacks on memorial plaques around the much-publicised Millennium Place, Coventry City Council has decided to take down hundreds of 'unsightly' red commemorative signs.

Over the last two years the plaques - which carry tributes to local people - have been repeatedly prised off the wall, smashed and even burned.

Now the council has taken the step of removing the plaques and finding 'a more robust system' in a bid to stop the wall becoming a permanent eyesore.

The original design for the wall was dreamed up by German artist Jochen Gertz and formed a key part of MacCormac Jamieson Prichard's innovative urban rejuvenation programme for Coventry.

A council spokesman said: 'It is disappointing. It got to a stage where it was better to take [the signs] off rather than keep them there.

'The wall is very prominent and it was not visually attractive.'

He added: 'However we gave a commitment to all those people who wanted a plaque - and they will go back up in some form.'

by Richard Waite

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