FANS of one of the region’s most famous landmarks have rallied round to pay for graffiti from a cult film to be removed and the icon to be cleaned up.

Lovers of Penshaw Monument, on Wearside, were devastated when large areas of the Greek-style structure, which can be seen for miles around, were daubed with red paint on Saturday, July 26.

The graffiti included symbols believed to be from the 2006 dystopian action thriller V for Vendetta.

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The National Trust, which owns the monument, made no appeal for help but businesses and residents have still donated £1,500, allowing the charity to hire specialist contractors Gavin Small Stone Restoration of Chester-le-Street to clean the masonry.

Any money left over will be put towards essential conservation work at the monument and work to improve public access.

The Trust said the vandalism had provoked a huge and passionate response.

Area ranger Gareth Wilson said he was incredibly grateful people had shown such concern for the monument.

“This is a place that means so much to so many people.

“As a charity, the National Trust wouldn’t be able to protect it for the enjoyment of everyone without the generosity of donors, members and volunteers.”

Donations came from Barclays, National Trust tenant farmer Ron Colledge, from Easington, and others.

Raymond Pettitt, managing director of community banking at Barclays, said: “Our colleagues were very disappointed to hear about the vandalism and we were keen to find a way to help the specialist clean-up operation.

“Penshaw is such an important part of the heritage of the local and regional community.”

Penshaw Monument was built in 1844 in the style of a Greek temple, based on the Theseion, the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens.

To support the upkeep of Penshaw Monument, call 0344-800-1895.