Elephant sculpture to commemorate babies in ashes scandal
The seven-foot tall sculpture has been unveiled in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.
A sculpture of an elephant has been unveiled in Princes Street Gardens to commemorate babies involved in the Edinburgh ashes scandal.
It emerged in 2012 that council-run Mortonhall crematorium in Edinburgh had disposed of infant remains on unmarked ground, despite telling bereaved parents that were no ashes to retrieve.
The scandal led to an inquiry and new legislation about practices for cremating babies.
Six years on from the shocking revelations, the sculpture - designed by Kelpies creator Andy Scott - is a place of reflection for parents who will never truly know the location of their babies' remains.
The seven-foot-tall creation is covered in forget-me-not flowers and sits in West Princes Street Gardens in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.
'It was terrible for every parent who had to endure that knowing that they'll never really know where their babies' ashes are.'Dorothy Maitland.
The elephant was chosen as it fits with the phrase "elephants never forget". A plaque commemorating the babies sits in the ground beside it, alongside small baby footprints.
Dorothy Maitland, whose baby daughter Kaelen was one of the children whose ashes were buried by crematorium staff, said it was a poignant tribute.
Mrs Maitland, former leader of bereavement charity SANDS Lothian which exposed the scandal, told STV News: "I think we have to try and move on from what happened.
"It was terrible for every parent who had to endure that knowing that they'll never really know where their babies' ashes are, but we have to try and move on from that and make sure our babies are remembered in a loving way and I think this is a huge step to show that."
Sculptor Mr Scott said: "It's very contemporary and yet it somehow sits perfectly here.
"I think once we get into summer and the trees get in leaf it's going to be just a beautiful spot.
"I like the idea that passersby will be able to engage with the sculpture and then of course when they read the dedication plaque, maybe understand what's happened in the past and the terrible circumstances that the parents have had to endure."