Glasgow City Council says it removed five ornate lampposts from Queen Margaret Bridge as a matter of urgency.
Inspections uncovered “significant deterioration” and the columns needed to be removed to protect the safety of the public.
The council said it had replaced five cast-iron pillars and bases with new metal lampposts to ensure suitable street light remained in the area.
The explanation came after a storm erupted on social media over the disappearance of the Edwardian iron structures in recent days.
Glasgow MSP Paul Sweeney tweeted on the X platform, formerly Twitter, saying it was “frustrating” to see that the lampposts had been taken out without prior notice.
One person who commented in a lengthy thread of posts condemning the removal described the council’s actions as “cultural vandalism”.
The bridge which takes Queen Margaret Bridge over the River Kelvin and Kelvin Walkway is a B-listed protected structure.
Its polished granite balustrades and parapets make it an attractive landmark adjoining Glasgow Botanic Gardens.
Mr Sweeney said it was his understanding that all street furniture had the same protection as the bridge structure.
To protect public safety, the older columns were removed as a matter of urgency and to ensure suitable street lighting remains in place, new lighting columns have been installed.
Glasgow City Council
He said he was seeking answers from the council about the removal.
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “An inspection of the lighting columns along Queen Margaret Drive found significant deterioration within their structures, which was not apparent from viewing the exterior of the decorative bases.
“To protect public safety, the older columns were removed as a matter of urgency and to ensure suitable street lighting remains in place, new lighting columns have been installed.
“We fully understand the enjoyment that residents take from the city’s built heritage and so the decorative bases of two lighting columns have been retained with a view to possible, future use.
“The decorative bases require to be refurbished and we will look carefully at how this might be achieved within existing resources.
“Three other columns are beyond repair but we will look to source suitable placements, based on the original design.”