The artist commissioned to design Scotland's national Covid memorial has condemned the "egotistic madness" of those who targeted it with 'anti-vax' graffiti.

The commemorative garden in Pollok Country Park was created to give relatives a place to remember loved ones who died during the pandemic.

It was discovered this week that the memorial had been targeted by vandals.

The words 'masking and vaxxing kids' were scrawled on an oak artwork and an information board has been completely destroyed.

Since March 2020, more than 12,000 people have lost their lives to Covid in Scotland.

Alec Finlay, the artist who was commissioned for the project, said: "It takes a kind of egotistic madness to damage a memorial created for those who lost loved ones, rather than walk on by.

"If you want to make a stand against science then have the guts go to George Square and make a speech. 

The Herald:

"It takes an effort of blind will to fantasise that wearing a mask is a threat, rather than an act of solidarity."

The Herald initiated and led the campaign to create Scotland’s Covid memorial and Glasgow City Council stepped forward with the offer of Pollok Country Park as a location.

READ MORE: Families pay tribute to loved ones lost to Covid at unveiling of memorial in Glasgow 

A public fund was set up and the project cost around £240,000 with generous contributions from bereaved families and those who have been affected by the pandemic.

Mr Finlay's 'I remember' concept takes the form of a memorial walk through Pollok Country Park, by way of forty oak artworks, which are inspired by human poses of support. 

The Herald:

Each design refers to a photograph by Hannah Laycock or Alec, of someone affected by the pandemic, including bereaved families and people with Long Covid. 

The oak tree supports, which were made by Alistair Letch, each bear the phrase I remember in English or one of Scotland’s other languages.

The Herald: Opening of The Herald I Remember national Covid memorial at Pollok country park. People pictured at Birch grove in Pollok Country Park. Birch grove is one of the areas in the park where artist Alec Finlay has installed supports as part of the I Remember

The official opening of the first phase of the memorial at the Riverside Grove was held last May.

"We’ve generally been lucky and the response to ‘I remember’ has been heartening. 

"But we’ll keep repairing the memorial because people need a place to heal and pay their respects," said Mr Finlay.

READ MORE: Scotland falls silent to remember lives lost during Covid pandemic 

The artist suggested that the official policy that the pandemic is over "went hand in hand" with "bullying" directed at those who are still grieving or battling Long Covid.

He said: "There's a crisis in our society around the real meaning of vulnerability, with tribal identities insisting only they have the right to suffering, only they know the truth."

Members of Covid19 Families Scotland, a support group set up to help those who have been bereaved, came together last month as a bench was placed within the grounds of the park.

Organiser Carolanne Stewart said families had wanted to fundraise themselves but Pollok Country Park offered to donate the bench.

In March a minute's silence was held at the National Covid Memorial attended by the then Deputy First Minister John Swinney.