The vandalism of a mural by England footballer Marcus Rashford was “not considered racial in nature,” police said during a call for witnesses.
The artwork came under attack hours after England’s European Championship final defeat on Sunday as Rashford and fellow players Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka suffered racist abuse on social media.
The mural quickly turned into a colorful wall of tributes as people rallied to support Rashford, and hundreds gathered for an anti-racism protest on Tuesday night.
Greater Manchester Police had investigated the vandalism as potentially aggravated by race, but said on Friday they did not believe the graffiti was racial in nature.
The force said it was continuing to investigate the motive for the attack but that no arrests had been made. He said, “While the content of the vandalism is not racial in nature, officers keep an open mind as to why the artwork was degraded. “
Officers have secured the CCTV footage and are analyzing the spray paint used for any forensic evidence, with the results due in a few weeks.
The word “fuck” was scrawled across the huge piece of art and “shit” and “bastard” were also written next to the word “Sancho”.
Manchester-based street artist Akse, who painted the mural, saw the ‘unacceptable’ graffiti shortly after midnight on Monday. He has since repainted his monochrome portrayal of the Manchester United player.
Superintendent Richard Timson, District Commander of the City of Manchester Division of GMP, said the vandalism had “appalled” the officers and they “stood with the rest of the community whose solidarity against this vile abuse has since really showed the best of our city ”.
He added: “The person responsible for this knows who they are, and we believe there will be others who will also suspect the identity of this offender, and so I urge anyone with such information to us. contact to help us move our investigations forward quickly. ”
The mural, painted in November as a tribute to Rashford’s work on child food poverty, includes a quote from the footballer’s mother, who raised him alone with his four siblings. “Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest part in your goal,” one reads.
Crowdfunding from Withington Walls, a community street art project commissioning public art in the southern suburbs of Manchester, raised more than £ 39,000 – far exceeding its original target – as he asked help repairing the mural.