POLICE are investigating a link between the desecration of a prominent Buxton landmark and the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK.
Corbar Cross, a large wooden cross on Corbar Hill, has been cut off at its base by vandals, sparking outrage from local residents and visitors to the area.
The damage, which was reported by a passer-by on Thursday lunchtime, coincided with the arrival of the Pope to the UK for a four-day tour.
The present day Corbar Cross was erected by an ecumenical group of local churches in the late 1980s after the original structure, which was given to the Roman Catholic church by the Duke of Devonshire in the 1950s, had been damaged by the weather.
Rector of Buxton, The Rev John Hudghton, said he was saddened by the vandalism.
In response to the public outcry, Rev Carl Edwards, of St Peter’s Church in Fairfield, has set-up a Facebook group, which has been inundated with comments.
Anyone with information about the damage should call Derbyshire police on 0345 123 3333 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
A note was left at the scene of the crime, and the perpetrator has contacted the Advertiser explaining his motives. For the full story, see next Thursday’s Buxton Advertiser.