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William Wallace statue returns to Stirling after restoration… in England

The 132-year-old structure was welcomed back at the National Monument after spending 10 weeks being repaired by Wigan-based Lost Art.

Conservator Restorer Jim Mitchell with part of the bronze statue of William Wallace (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Conservator Restorer Jim Mitchell with part of the bronze statue of William Wallace (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A statue of William Wallace has returned to Scotland after undergoing restoration work south of the border.

The 132-year-old statue was welcomed back at the National Monument in Stirling after spending 10 weeks in England being repaired.

Structural casting failures on the bronze 14ft figure were fixed with the shield and sword also assessed and repaired, while the bronze itself was cleaned to halt decay.

Around £260,000 was invested in the project by Stirling Council to ensure the statue is ready for the Wallace Monument’s 150th anniversary celebrations this September.

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The statue is being returned to the National Monument in Stirling after undergoing vital restoration work (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Brian Roberts, senior manager for infrastructure at the local authority, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the magnificent William Wallace statue has been restored to his former glory and is back home in Stirling for the upcoming National Monument’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

“The investment by the council was critical to safeguard the future of the statue and the Monument, one of Scotland’s most popular attractions, and underlines our commitment to ensuring Stirling continues to be a must-visit destination.

“This was a hugely challenging and complex project, requiring the collaboration of a range specialists, including the expertise of the craftspeople of Lost Art, who have a proven track record in restoring Scottish historical structures.

“What happened on Wallace’s last trip to England is obviously well-known, and very much in the past but, this time, thanks to Lost Art’s painstaking work, he has returned across the border in peak condition and ready to greet visitors from all over the world as they arrive at the Monument.”

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Around £260,000 was invested in the project by Stirling Council (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The restoration work marks the first time the statue was removed from the tower since its unveiling at the Monument in 1887.

Damian Liptrot, office manager at Wigan-based Lost Art, said: “Lost Art have felt it both an honour and a privilege to have been entrusted with the care and repair of such an important national symbol of historic and emotional significance.

“It has been a test of the skill and ingenuity of our staff, they have delighted in the challenge and the result.

“We all hope that the people of Scotland will feel as much pride in what the statue represents as we do in the work that has gone into the restoration.”

PA

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