Thousands of pounds of damage has been caused at a Birmingham water fountain, just hours after it was switched back on following a £5 million refurbishment.
Thick white bubbles were discovered in the ‘Floozie in the Jacuzzi’ fountain’s control room.
Furious council chiefs have now launched a hunt for the mysterious lather lout and vowed to ‘bring them to justice.’
The Floozie in the Jacuzzi fountain had been switched on for the first time since 2013.
The sculpture’s real name is ‘the River of Life’, but locals commonly refer to it by its rhyming moniker.
Birmingham City Council have described the incident as ‘mindless vandalism.’
The damage caused to the fountain is expected to cost thousands of pounds to fix.
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: ‘An act of vandalism carried out on the day The River was switched on again has caused significant disruption to the plant room which operates the feature.
‘This is very disappointing and means residents and visitors to Birmingham are unable to enjoy one of the city’s most loved pieces of public art.
‘Repairs are being carried out and although we are unable to give an exact number at this stage, this is likely to cost the people of Birmingham thousands of pounds.
‘We will ensure the feature is operational once again as soon as possible and would urge anyone with any information about the mindless vandalism to contact us, so those responsible can be brought to justice.’
The famous landmark was made by sculptor Dhruva Mistry in 1993 – at the cost of £3.5 million.
It had been plagued with problems from 2008 as multiple leaks causing damage.
The fountain was switched off in 2013 to save money.
Footage of bubbles pouring out into the fountain’s control room has gone viral across social media.
One person wrote on Twitter: ‘Hopefully this might educate people because I imagine they didn’t know the damage they were causing.’
A second asked: ‘Hauled before the courts for bubble bathing a fountain. But over the top don’t you think?’
Another user added: ‘This is why we can’t have nice things in Birmingham.’
City council leader Ian Ward had switched on the fountain in a special ceremony last year.
Unaware of the bubbly chaos yet to come, he had told the Birmingham Mail: ’I am absolutely delighted we’ve been able to turn the Floozie back on today, fully restored.
‘I’ve been determined that throughout the period that the fountain has been closed that we would restore this piece of public art and bring it back to life in time for the Commonwealth Games.’
Similar bubble-based pranks have been carried other across England, such as at Frome’s Boyle Cross fountain, Devizes’s Market Place fountain and at the Cascade Steps in Bristol.
In 2018, giant peaks of froth and chunks of the bubbles were found floating off onto roads in South Shields.
Vandals had targeted a large water feature in South Marine Park, causing chaos.
The local council had said: ‘This sort of activity may seem like a bit of fun but it is important to note that it can be detrimental to fauna and flora as well as local wildlife.’
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