Locals are calling for the removal of William McGonagall graffiti on a wall along the Riverside in Dundee which has been branded as “cynical”.
Councillors have received several complains about the graffiti that appeared over the weekend at the city’s Riverside Drive walkway.
The vandalism reads: “Wullie McGonegall (sic) was a poetic genius. Anon.” in bright red writing.
The graffiti was sprayed on a wall at the end of McGonagall’s walk, where his poem is engraved into the ground.
Originally, McGonagall was a carpet weaver in Dundee who wrote poetry on the side.
World’s worst poet
Is it said McGonagall used to carry an umbrella to protect himself from rotten fruit thrown at him by strangers and has been described as the “world’s worst poet” of his time.
West End Councillor Fraser Macpherson said after receiving several complains about the graffiti, he has requested for the writing to be cleaned off.
He said: “Over the weekend, I reported this to the council to get the red paint mess removed.
“I had a response on Monday morning from environment management stating ‘our graffiti team have this in hand and it will be attended to’ so I hope it will be cleaned off soon.”
Locals passing by said the vandalism appears to be mocking the poet – despite it hailing him a genius – due to the fact McGonagall’s name is spelt wrong.
One said: “He’s regarded as one of the most incompetent poets so that’s probably what they mean.
“It doesn’t really bother me if it’s removed. Whoever wrote it will probably just do it again.”
Graffiti branded ‘unusual’
Another user of the walkway highlighted that the graffiti was unusual to most vandalism found in Dundee.
He said: “It’s quite unusual I guess from the regular graffiti you get.
“McGonagall’s obviously a Dundee legend but I think it might be quite a cynical comment.
“They obviously can’t spell either.
“I think it’s a problem but what the council really need to do is clean up this walkway.”
Some were less sceptical about the meaning behind the graffiti and just eager to have it removed.
Jennifer Dempster said: “I walk along here almost everyday and I hadn’t noticed it, it’s maybe quite recent.
“It’s quite bad any graffiti should be removed.
“Dundee’s been quite busy over the weekend with students so it’s probably just some people messing about, there will be stuff like this all over the city
“I don’t know very much about McGonagall personally but I think it should probably be removed.”
A spokesperson for Dundee City Council said: “Graffiti is an anti-social behaviour that blights communities and areas where it happens.
“It is unsightly and costs the council and owners money to clean off or cover up.
“We would encourage anyone who encounters graffiti to contact the council on 433 063 to arrange to have it attended to.”