Graffiti defaces post-box painted gold for Ennis


LONDON (Reuters) - A golden post-box honouring Britain's Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis has had to be re-painted after being vandalised.

Royal Mail said in a statement on Wednesday that the offending words on the post-box in the centre of Ennis's home city of Sheffield had been erased.

"We are extremely disappointed that someone has chosen to vandalise the gold post-box," it added. "We have teams around the UK which look after and maintain our 115,000 post boxes and we have already repaired the damage to this box."

The Royal Mail is celebrating every gold medal won by the country at the London Olympics by painting a post-box gold in the winner's home town.

Britain has so far won 22 golds, the country's highest tally since 1908.

The Sheffield post-box for Ennis, who became one of the faces of the Games after her victory last weekend, has become a tourist attraction with people having their photographs taken next to it.

The Yorkshire Post newspaper reported that one man had travelled all the way from London to see it.

It also quoted a student as saying the location was bound to attract less desirable attention.

"It's on the main pub run round here and you're going to get idiots doing this kind of thing when they're tanked up," said 20-year-old Stuart Collier. "Too many drunk loons around on a night."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Patrick Johnston)

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