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New statues unveiled for Elgin

This curious creation will soon be a focal point of Elgin's town centre
This curious creation will soon be a focal point of Elgin's town centre

A trio of eye-catching sculptures are to be built in Elgin in an effort to brighten up the centre of the town.

Local artists were tasked with taking inspiration from the area’s past to form a new centrepiece in the town.

Organisers had originally planned to build just one of the suggested statues – but have now revealed that they will erect three diverse monuments by the end of the year.

One particularly intriguing statue, which will be built on the west end of Elgin’s Plainstones, is of a 7ft “mermaid lion” wearing a colourful clothes.

The eccentric creation is the brainchild of Vik Quickly, and each aspect of it is designed to represent a part of the town’s past.

The upper half of Dandy Lion is dressed in estate tweeds and cashmere from the Johnstons of Elgin wool mill.

Its top hat, monocle, moustache and cane represent the fashion trends of the early 1800s, when Andrew Anderson and Alexander Gray gifted the institute and hospitals named in their honour to Elgin.

The fishy tail at the base of the sculpture is supposed to reflect the fisherfolk who plied their trade on the Plainstones in bygone years.

And the statue’s name is a play on words, referring to the dandelions people would wear to signify they were looking for agricultural work around the town.

Alan Herriot’s bronze Elgin’s Drummer Boy statue will be erected at the east end of the Plainstones and its fabrication will be filmed for posterity.

David Annand’s 6.5ft Wolf of Badenoch inspired artwork will be sited on a patch of grass near the roundabout linking the High Street to West Road.

The scheme has been funded by the Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere project, which aims to link together the three ancient Elgin attractions via a tourist trail.

Yesterday, organisers revealed that 760 people had submitted feedback on the designs.

Chairman Jim Royan, added: “We had a fantastic response to the competition, with a great deal of comments about the pieces.

“It has been very encouraging to see the community get involved and passionate about the project.

“The sculptures will provide a valuable addition to the Plainstones area and will engage, educate, excite and intrigue the public.”

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