A STATUE of Clyde, the Glasgow 2014 mascot, has been stolen and others have been vandalised following the end of the Commonwealth Games.
Glasgow City Council has begun removing Clyde figures from across the city earlier than planned to protect the remaining statues.
The purple-haired thistle character appeared at 25 locations in the run-up to the Games as part of Clyde’s Trail.
They proved popular with visitors to the city who queued up to get their photograph taken with the mascots, which each wear an outfit of a different design.
The council was informed this morning that the statue on Edmiston Drive in Govan was missing and they believe it has been stolen.
A spokesman said: “Clyde has become synonymous with Glasgow’s Games and the trail has proved massively popular, with tens of thousands of fans queuing to have their picture taken beside Clyde across the city in recent weeks.
“Throughout the Games there were some instances of Clyde being ‘accessorised’ with flags, scarves, hats and stickers, however we wanted people to find him as the children who designed each outfit intended.
“As such, any items that were added to the children’s artwork were removed as part of our daily maintenance programme.
“In recent days, there have been incidents of vandalism to some of the Clydes along the trail, including defacement of the plaques and QR codes, which are there to help people complete the trail using the Clyde’s Trail smartphone app.
“It was our intention for the Clydes to remain in their current locations and for the trail to be enjoyed until the end of the school holidays.
“Thereafter we planned to take each of the statues in from Sunday August 17 to clean them up and carry out any routine maintenance required.
“However, to ensure the safety of the remaining Clydes, we have decided to begin removing them from today.”
The council said discussions are continuing on the fate of the figures but said the plan remains for them to stay on show in the city as a lasting legacy of the Games.
Clyde, designed by 14-year-old Beth Gilmour, proved a big hit with visitors to Glasgow 2014.
Soft toys of the character were the most popular merchandise items over the course of the Games, with more than 50,000 purchased since July.
High demand led to the 15cm (6in) and 25cm (10in) versions temporarily selling out.