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Landmark statue returned to pedestal as £28m Union Terrace Gardens works near completion

Workers return the statue of Edward VII as part of the refurbishment of Union Terrace Gardens. Picture by Paul Glendell.
Workers return the statue of Edward VII as part of the refurbishment of Union Terrace Gardens. Picture by Paul Glendell.

A landmark statue has been returned to its rightful place on Aberdeen’s Granite Mile during the refurbishment of Union Terrace Gardens.

The granite statue of King Edward VII was lowered back upon its pedestal on the corner of Union Terrace and Union Street on Wednesday afternoon.

In March 2021, the sculpture was hoisted from its position as part of the £28.3 million renovations of Union Terrace Gardens.

The Edwardian statue, which has proudly overlooked the Granite Mile since 1914, was stored safely elsewhere while the works were carried out.

Now that the multi-million-pound project is nearing completion, the statue of Queen Victoria’s son has been reinstated once more.

The statue of Edward VII was hoisted up and lowered carefully and slowly back into place using a crane. Picture by Paul Glendell.

A crane was seen carefully hoisting the Category B listed figure as workmen rallied round to ensure it was properly reattached to its pedestal.

Workers reposition the iconic granite statue back upon its pedestal. Picture by Paul Glendell.

Councillor Tim Mason explained that this particular statue is a focal point in the city and commented that it is “a part of our history and part of the story of Aberdeen”.

Mr Mason believes that the project is looking “attractive” and is looking forward to the construction equipment being cleared away so people can enjoy the gardens once more.

He said: “I think the faster we get it open the better. It’s looking good and the sooner we get things completed and the whole center of Aberdeen normalised again the better.

“It’s something we’ve been waiting for for some years now.”

Councillor Bill Comrie agreed and highlighted that the hoarding is “causing chaos” by diverting bus routes.

He added: “Any statue being replaced is good to hear, but I hope they’ve taken steps to clean it properly and carry out repair work that any statue needs.”

Union Terrace Gardens project

The multi-million-pound regeneration of UTG started in August 2019 as part of Aberdeen City Council’s flagship City Centre Masterplan.

It was decided to make the Victorian park more accessible and inclusive while improving amenities and activities.

This includes a new winding walkway leading down from Union Street and a grand staircase from Rosemount Viaduct.

Repairs have been made to the balustrades and arches along Union Terrace and pavilions have been built to be used as cultural spaces, cafes or restaurants.

Although work to complete the project has been pushed back a number of times due to coronavirus, the city centre green space will reopen to the public this year.

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