A historic statue in Marlow town centre is set for a £4,400 revamp after an “inappropriate” cleaning technique in 2015 “significantly accelerated” its deterioration process.

Marlow town councillors approved a spend of £4,420 at last week’s full council meeting for “significant restoration” of the Frohman statue, in The Causeway.

According to Historic England, the statue, of a nude girl seated on a plinth in stone, is a memorial to Charles Frohman, a well-known theatrical manager who drowned in the sinking of the Lusitania in May 1915, during the First World War, when the ship was torpedoed by a German submarine.

More than 1,000 people were killed in the attack, which happened off the coast of Ireland.

Mr Frohman, a New York theatre producer who brought Peter Pan to the small screen, was a regular visitor to Marlow, often staying at the Compleat Angler, by Marlow Bridge.

The town council said its last significant restoration took place in 2009, adding: “Due in part to the statue being cleaned in 2015 by a different contractor, using a pressure washer and wire brushes, this inappropriate cleaning technique significantly accelerated the deterioration process of the statue.

“It should also be noted that the proximity of the statue to the highway increases the amount of erosion.

“It is therefore advised that restoration works will need to be refreshed at a minimum of every ten years.”

Officers instructed two “highly experienced” conservation companies to report on the statue’s current condition, recommend necessary restoration and advise how best to protect it from future erosion.

The council wrote in its agenda documents: “Both contractors are highly regarded in their field of conservation work and have excellent references.

“Both gave similar, but not identical proposals – contractor one included the re-cutting of the worn inscription to the front and back of the plinth.

“It should be noted that contractor 1 has previous experience of the statue and is the contractor recommended by officers.”

All work will take place in the coming few months once the risk of frost has passed, the council added.

The £4,420 cost will be taken from town improvement earmarked reserves.