Staff at Thames restaurant Gastronomics have been left to pick up the pieces after its sculpture — named Elly the elephant — was destroyed overnight.

Owner Kishan Raikwar told 1News he purchased Elly for $5000 last year in an effort to make the main street “more attractive”.

“I got it from a place in Auckland who imported it from Cambodia. I was trying to encourage others to do the same — get a sculpture or set up a garden to bring a bit more life to the street.”

But at about 11.09pm last night, things took a turn for the worse.

“I was called by police who said the statue had been destroyed. I had CCTV which I gave them which showed people pushing it over until it smashed into lots of pieces.”

Raikwar said he wasn’t fazed by the cost of the elephant but had questions over why people would put this much energy to “upset somebody else”.

“If they used that energy for good or to study, that would be a lot better.”

When asked how his staff felt, Raikwar said “everyone was sad”. He added he picked up the broken pieces of Elly this morning.

“Our Elly was deliberately destroyed last night, it’s heart breaking,” read a Facebook post by Gastronomics.

Comments have called the event “so sad”.

The remains of Elly were cleaned up this morning.

1News has contacted police for comment.