Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Petition backs Wellington cone

The statue of Wellington in Glasgow often has a traffic cone placed on its head

A campaign to save the traffic cone which famously graces the head of a Glasgow statue has attracted thousands of supporters.

Organisers of an online petition say the cone on the Duke of Wellington monument has become an "iconic" part of the city's heritage.

They are protesting against council plans to deter people from tampering with the statue outside the Gallery of Modern Art by raising the plinth on which it stands.

The move is part of a £65,000 refurbishment proposal aimed at ending the practice of placing a cone on Wellington's head, which it says projects a "depressing" image of Glasgow.

An online petition launched by Donna Yates and Gavin Doig had last night attracted more than 8,000 signatures.

The pair have reported that the council might be ready to withdraw the plan following the public outcry.

"The cone on Wellington's head is an iconic part of Glasgow's heritage, and means far more to the people of Glasgow and to visitors than Wellington himself ever has," the petition says.

"We request that the council not waste tens of thousands of pounds attempting to stop this proud Glaswegian tradition. It is a landmark, a point of culture and tradition, a place of note, a shared bit of heritage for the whole city."

Former prime minister Wellington (1769 - 1852) defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. His statue stands on Royal Exchange Square and for years has been targeted by students and revellers who put an orange traffic cone on his head.

The council puts the cost of removing the cone each time at £100.

Jennie Kermode wrote on the petition site: "As a regular writer of tourist brochures, I note that much of what attracts visitors to Glasgow is the humour of its people. This is not something the council should be ashamed of."

Lara Davis wrote: "The cone is more of a symbol of the defiant, fun spirit which Glasgow has always embodied and for which it's renowned throughout the world."

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