Wednesday, 24 September 2008

What do you think?

A sculpture of a lion that is currently in Edinburgh has been offered to Arbroath on loan. The photo above shows how it might look outside Arbroath Abbey.

The press release below explains more. Any comments?

A granite carving of a lion by Scottish sculptor Ronald Rae could be loaned to Arbroath when it is moved from Edinburgh and Arbroath Councillor Jim Millar is inviting people to comment on whether they would like to see the sculpture based in the town.

The sculpture, which took a year to carve is currently on display between the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace, but the exhibition of the work is due to end in 2010. Although never officially titled, it has been given the name "The Lion of Scotland" by the public and the name has stuck.

Cllr Millar said "The statue has proven to be very popular in Edinburgh and attracts a considerable amount of interest from visitors and locals alike. People are constantly having their photographs taken next to it and postcards of it have also been produced. Although 'the lion' has been offered to the Scottish Parliament, it was felt by the Art Advisory Group that it did not fit their criteria for acquisitions. I would very much like to encourage people to say what they think on the subject, and how they would feel about hosting the sculpture in Arbroath."

Mr Rae, who sculpted the lion by hand was visiting friends in Auchmithie who took him to see Arbroath Abbey and it was suggested that an area near the monument itself would be an ideal location for the sculpture. Mr Rae said "I believe the colour of the pink granite complements the red sandstone of the walls, and the subject matter has an interesting link given that King William the Lion, who founded Arbroath Abbey is thought to have been the first to have adopted the lion as the symbol of the Scottish monarch. As someone who works with stone, I felt a great empathy with those who built the abbey and it retains a spirituality that can still be felt today. I would be delighted to see the sculpture exhibited in Arbroath."

Rosalind Newlands of the Scottish Tourist Guides Associations petitioned the Scottish Parliament to retain the sculpture in Edinburgh stating "As tourist guides, we regularly take visitors on tour round Edinburgh, in coaches, smaller vehicles and on foot and, since this particular exhibition began, had noticed the amount of admiration it attracted. Specifically, visitors expressed their liking for the Lion of Scotland statue. This iconic sculpture attracted comment not just from adults but from all ages. Children in particular are attracted to it in numbers. "

Cllr Millar concluded "I would ask people to respond with their views either by mail to Jim Millar, Members' Services, The Cross, Forfar, DD8 1BX or via e-mail to".


Fox In Detox said...

It has often been a contention of mine that any large object made of stone, wood, bronze, or whatever...placed outdoors in a public setting, is going to attract people who wish to have their photo taken in front of it. The subject of the object doesn't even could be a huge marble penis, or a big bronze booger... people will still want to be photographed in front of it.

I say, display the lion. It's a nice lion, and aside from the bad photo-shopping, it looks very regal sitting there on the lawn like sayeth the Fox.

All in favor... say Aye!

Jim said...

Thanks for your comment Fox.

Have to say I wasn't responsible for the photo shopping!

I'm open minded on it at the moment, we'll see what people have to say about it. I suspect it won't be a popular suggestion among some in the community, but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained!


PS hope you're saving up for you're trip to Scotland next year!

Bosses wife said...

I only pressed the button on the camera....dont be blaming me for not being able to cut things out!

Jim said...

Bosses Wife,

You're photographic skills are not in doubt!

(though I hear the farmers market ones are a bit ropey) :-)


BW said...

it was of wine, snacks...sorry specimins of quality farm produce, and a camera, what would you forget about? for me it was the camera!

Jim said...


Fair enough, I'd have ditched the camera too.


Surreptitious Evil said...

Relevant, reasonably attractive, good price, only a tiny hint of "art for artists' sake". Give it a go but as fox hints - make sure it is displayed so people can take sensible photos of themselves by it (and some will try 'on it') without damaging the flowers.

The Aberdonioan said...

Aye, it would be a good symbol for the both the country and King William.

Maybe a plaque beside it saying something that it both represents the country (mention declaration of Arbroath etc) and the King who lies buried within the Abbey who gave Scotland its heraldic symbol etc.

The stone actually blends in very well with the Abbey sandstone.

(I remember the comedian Craig Ferguson once claimed that Arbroath was the cradle of civilisation as it was the place where the wheel was invented - then the grumpy presbytarian minister in the next cave saw the invention saw this and decided to spoil the fun. So he went off an invented the wheel clamp!).

1st Lady said...

I saw that lion just the other week and was actually quite impressed with him, I think he'll suit my garden nicely.

Jim said...

Well 1stL, it's for sale, so you could put in an offer! :-)