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Police undercover umbrellas put on display come rain or shine

Fettes Police Station offered artist Juliana Capes the lost brollies for the Edinburgh art project.

A flock of umbrellas have emerged in Edinburgh
A flock of umbrellas have emerged in Edinburgh SWNS / cropped

Escaping from the walls of the National Galleries of Scotland, a flock of umbrellas emerge to attempt to break free through the ceiling and into the waiting skies.

Each umbrella is unique, a collection of large golf canopies, colourful and collapsable frames and old fashioned brollies with wooden handles.

Yet each has a common denominator. They are all members of Police Scotland's lost and found collection and up until recently, sat collecting dust in a station in Edinburgh.

Fettes Police Station donated dozens of unclaimed umbrellas to Juliana Capes, who created the art installation influenced by the refugee crisis.

First displayed at Cupar Arts Festival in Fife earlier this year, the flock of umbrellas, entitled Diaspora (paradiso), have settled at the Royal Scottish Academy Building in Princes Street for the next few weeks.

The flock of umbrellas try to break through the celing
The flock of umbrellas try to break through the celing Juliana Capes

The art installation depicts the flock of lost umbrellas taking flight together, attempting to flee their curse of abandonment indoors.

Inspired by images which have surfaced of the refugee crisis and Gustave Dore's Paradiso etchings, the piece aims to ask what it takes to change an individual's fate.

"Working with the lost property department has been very inspiring for me as an artist interested in the poignancy of lost objects," explains Juliana.

"I am very grateful to Police Scotland for supporting my installation at the National Galleries."

Umbrella's aren't the only lost property to have been transformed into pieces of art. Police Scotland have donated several items to projects across scotland including bicycles as it clears archives of lost of confiscated property.

Superintendent Andrew Allan says: "This was a great use of lost property and we are thrilled that the project has done so well.

"Police Scotland is committed to the disposing of lost and confiscated items in a sustainable and cost effective way."

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