Conservationists hope to restore historic Burns statue
Conservationists in West Lothian are hoping to raise £50,000s to repair a marble statue of Robert Burns which was vandalised more than 30 years ago
Conservationists in West Lothian are hoping to raise £50,000s to repair a marble statue of Robert Burns which was vandalised more than 30 years ago. The sculpture of Burns with Highland Mary, which used to stand in Bathgate's Kirkton Park, is currently lying in ruins in a shed.
The statue at the centre of the fund raising campaign is gathering moss in a council shed.
The marble monument of Robert Burns and Highland Mary is almost 130 years old. It was gifted to Bathgate town council in 1952 and put on public display. But by the 1970s it was wrecked. Vandals knocked off the heads then broke off the arms and legs.
It will cost £50,000 to repair. Local conservationists are hoping they can raise the cash in the year Scotland celebrates the Bard's life and works.
Artist Bill Millan said: "We would hope that the smaller organisations, Burns Clubs, Caledonian Societies and so on would donate small amounts, £50, £100, you know what they say - many mickle maks a muckle!"
A local artist painted a picture of the statue to help the campaign. The canvas will be eventually be sold and the image is being used on postcards being sold to bring in money.
Joe Welsh from the Bathgate Historic Conservation Society said: "It's a piece of good Victorian sculpture and a piece of art, three dimensional art of which we are very short in Bathgate and here it was in ruins, so I feel passionately that any art work at all in the town must be preserved and on display."
The statue used to dominate Bathgate's Kirkton Park. It is hoped that by highlighting its present condition in this the year of homecoming celebrating the 250th anniversary of Burn's birth it will soon be restored to its former glory. If it is conservationists are taking no chances and plan to find it a new home indoors.