Dundee city councillors have blasted the “idiots” involved in the urban beach bench fire.
The fire service and police rushed to the dramatic blaze on Dundee’s waterfront at around 7:45pm on Wednesday.
Firefighters managed to contain and extinguish the fire, however the seating area was left badly damaged.
Locals have since condemned the fire-raising on the site of Dundee’s regeneration project.
The bench and its thatched roof were originally created by the Dundee Institute of Architects (DIA) to raise awareness of climate change during COP26.
The DIA had advertised its installation just a week before the fire.
‘Public money wasted’
Council leader John Alexander blasted those involved in the fire and claimed that they will ultimately pay the price.
He said: “I never understand the mentality of the idiots that vandalise things in the city. A minority ruining something for the majority, they should be ashamed of themselves.
“From bus shelters to this COP26 related installation, tens of thousands of pounds of public money is wasted every year rectifying vandalism.
“The sad reality is that some of these individuals, their parents, friends and family will be the ones paying the costs for their stupidity through tax.
“That is tens of thousands of pounds that could be spent on education, parks, fixing potholes and a whole host of other things.”
Convener for city development Mark Flynn was shocked by the fire, which is being considered “wilful” by police.
Councillor Flynn said: “This is simply a mindless act of vandalism which is not only irresponsible but extremely dangerous.
“I would ask anyone, who may have information as to who was involved to contact Police Scotland.”
Flynn also remarked on efforts to improve Dundee’s waterfront, which included revamped seating areas and an urban beach for the community.
“We are in the process of regenerating the waterfront to create a space for the benefit of everyone to enjoy,” he said.
“In addition, it’s sad to note this seating area was built to highlight the climate emergency and the importance of COP26 and the major issues facing us all.”
Police Scotland confirmed that enquires are ongoing into the cause of the fire.