THE owners of the Cottage Indian restaurant say that vandalism to the listed building will cost them tens of thousands of pounds.

Graffiti was sprayed all over the exterior of what is one of Warrington’s most well-known and beloved landmarks overnight.

Warrington Guardian:

It is thought that the vandals struck shortly after 5.30am, with messages scrawled in red and blue paint including ‘justice for Shukri Abdi’.

Warrington Guardian:

The 12-year-old girl from Bury drowned in a river in June last year, with a series of protests having been held worldwide last weekend to mark the first anniversary of her death.

Other graffiti made accusations of sexual abuse against children.

Warrington Guardian:

But the restaurant’s management – who took over the site in September 2018 – told the Warrington Guardian that these claims do not relate to the Cottage’s owners or employees.

A spokesman said: “What concerns me is that someone must have been so angry to go to this effort.

“This is a great building – we’re not traditional restaurateurs, but we took over the business because we love what this building and this business represents.

Warrington Guardian:

“Now we have to rectify this, and because it’s a listed building I think it will cost tens of thousands of pounds.

“It takes time to get money back through insurance claims, but we can’t have the building left like this.

“We will get this fixed – it will dent our wallet, but it is a piece of the heritage of Warrington.

“Be assured, we will restore this building to its former glory and preserve it for the town.”

Warrington Guardian:

The Cottage was set to reopen for diners for the first time since March tomorrow, Saturday, having been shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But these plans are now in jeopardy as a result of the vandalism.

The spokesman added: “We really didn’t need it at this time when business has been dead.

Warrington Guardian:

“We’ve spent so much money inside doing decorating inside, I don’t know if we’ll be able to open or not tomorrow – I can’t make sense of things.

“During this Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve played such an active part in the community.

“We have made such a genuine effort to do our part – we’ve been doing so much, and I couldn’t understand why anyone would do this and I was shocked to see it.

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Warrington Guardian:

“In a sense, I was relieved that this does not relate to anyone who is a part of our team.

“The council have been very good, and we are working with them proactively.

“A lot of customers have been sending us nice messages as well, and we want to thank them for it.”