Antony Gormley's Edinburgh statues floored by Scots weather

The Six Times artworks, designed to last 1000 years, have been submerged in the Water of Leith after toppling during heavy rain storms.

Statue: Officials say the figures are designed to tip over in high water.
© STV

A series of high profile statues designed to grace Edinburgh’s landscape for 1000 years have been beaten by the Scots weather after just four weeks.

Antony Gormley’s six metal human sculptures, standing knee deep in the Water of Leith, were unveiled last month.

However, the rising water levels caused by recent rain has led to the “Six Times” figures toppling over and becoming submerged.

It is believed the statues may have been designed to tip over in extreme conditions. And officials preparing to wade into the water to rescue the artworks say they should not have been damaged by their recent drowning.

However, they admitted they had been inundated with calls from members of the public, scared the valuable works had been stolen.

A spokesperson for the National Galleries of Scotland, which commissioned the work, said: "It has been noted that the figures in the Water of Leith at Powderhall and Bonnington, which form part of the Antony Gormley sculpture 6 Times, are no longer visible.

"The figures have been designed to tip over under certain amounts of pressure or force, minimising any flood risk.

"In light of the recent adverse weather conditions it is highly likely that the figures have tipped over and are now submerged in the water.

"Once the water has receded a thorough investigation of each site will be undertaken and the figures will be restored."

Recent bad weather has seen some parts of Scotland hit by a whole month’s rainfall in less than a day, while Edinburgh, which gets an average of 79mm during July, had 22mm in just four hours last Thursday.

However, officials say they are confident the figures will withstand the elements, with Mr Gormley insisting they could survive for 1000 years.

Speaking at the unveiling of the project in June, the Turner Prize winning artist said the the heavy metal statues had actually been designed to adapt to the elements, with the resulting rust and discolouration intended as part of the effect.

He added: "This was an extraordinary opportunity to use an extraordinary feature of Edinburgh, this hidden river that has been running for thousands and thousands of years.

"For me it was an obvious context to use to ask quite serious questions about where the human project fits into the scheme of things at large.

"I'm really excited because it's a very open experiment. Can these works in some sense add a dimension to people's experience of the city? Obviously I hope they will.”

Mr Gormley also said he was not worried about how people would treat the statues, despite some of them already having been dressed up in bikinis and MacDonalds uniforms.

He said: “People have taken them on board.

"The figures may be silent, they may be rusty, but in terms of how people have looked on these new neighbours it's been very positive."

In Detail

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.