Conservationists have voiced dismay at the toppling of the gravestone of one of the men who helped to build in Birmingham in the 19th century.
The headstone of Victorian architect John Henry Chamberlain, at Key Hill Cemetery in the Jewellery Quarter, was flattened because of city council concerns over health and safety regulations.
Chamberlain designed buildings in the city such as the Birmingham School of Art, and Barbara Shackley, chairman of the Birmingham Victorian Society, said they felt other actions should have been explored.
"This appears to be a sturdy stone and we seriously question if it should have be knocked down. We feel that the good quality graves, of which this is one, should have been cordoned off, and then repaired," she said.
A council spokesman said he understood the group's concerns but maintained they had no other option because of fatal accidents in other graveyards across the country.
He said: "In some instances, the gravestones are very fragile because they are over 100 years old in Key Hill cemetery. The local authority is under legislation to carry out work to keep the area safe and very experienced surveyors have carried out hand-tests to check if the gravestones may be dangerous.
"The tombstone of JH Chamberlain was deemed unsafe so we opted to lie it flat within the space it already occupied.
"The responsibility of the city council is to make it safe. It's up to the family or the trustees or another interested party to come forward to put it upright again and if they choose to do so we will give them our full backing, but as far as we are concerned it is only our responsibility to make sure it is safe."
Under the Local Authorities' Cemeteries Order 1977, it is the responsibility of the owner of the exclusive right of burial or their heirs or assigns to carry out remedial work to make a memorial safe.
However, the same Act states that any burial authority can put in order any grave or vault, or any tombstone or memorial. It may also under certain circumstances remove or destroy memorials which have become dilapidated.
Mary Worsfold, architectural adviser to the Victorian Society, said: "We appreciate the health and safety considerations with tombstones and monuments and we realise everyone has to do this.
"But we think they should have at least liaised with the conservation department and we think Birmingham City Council should have footed the bill."
However, there was some good news for conservationists when the council confirmed that up to #150,000 had been secured by the conservation department to begin restoring small parts of the cemetery such as the gates and pathways, but not the gravestones, over the next two months.
Coun Martin Mullaney (Lib Dem Moseley and Kings Heath), who campaigned for the extra funding, said: "I think the Victorian Society are right and I fully support their campaign to restore the cemetery.
"I have been there a few times over the years and I think it's a wonderful cemetery. Before I came into politics I even wrote to The Birmingham Post to say that the place should be restored.
"It's a hidden gem and even has catacombs below it that could be turned into a great tourist attraction. It's like a hall - or cave - of fame beneath our feet of the people who built Birmingham.
"It's also like something out of a Hammer horror film and is really spooky and atmospheric and is something we should use to build on the success of projects like Back To Backs."