A statue of Robert the Bruce has been targeted by vandals and graffitied with messages calling for the monument to be removed.

The structure, which sits at the Battle of Bannockburn site near Stirling, was found on Friday morning, covered in graffiti.

Some of the messages, written in white paint, read 'BLM' and 'racist king', with another on the monument's rotunda stating: ‘Robert was a racist bring down the statue’.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) owns the site, and confirmed a contractor will visit the site this afternoon to clean the monument.

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Stuart Maxwell, the National Trust for Scotland’s general manager for Edinburgh and East, said: “We are very disappointed by the vandalism of the iconic Bruce statue at Bannockburn and the A listed rotunda.

“This comes at a time when our charity is suffering serious financial hardship and this is a cost we could do without.

HeraldScotland:

“We would like to thank the local community for their support in responding so quickly to this incident.

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“A contractor will visit the site this afternoon.”

Local MP Alyn Smith said: “I’m aware with @RHBruceCrawford of vandalism at the Bannockburn site. @StirlingCouncil is on it and this will be cleared soon.

"I’ve been vocal in my support of #BlackLivesMatter and hope such counterproductive stupidity is an isolated incident.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "We were made aware on Friday, 12 June, 2020 of vandalism to the Battle of Bannockburn heritage site, near Stirling.

"Enquiries are ongoing."