The statue of Lord Saltoun has overseen the hustle and bustle of Fraserburgh’s town centre with a worn-off face for many years.
But now, the statue has a new face which was meticulously created by Elgin-based KK Art and Conservation and the work has been returned to the alcove above the door to the former police station and council building at Saltoun Chambers.
The marble effigy of Alexander Fraser, the 17th Lord Saltoun known as “Waterloo Saltoun”, was presented to his nephew upon his death in 1853.
It has been on the building, now named the Faithlie Centre, since 1859.
The majority of the public have been happy with the refurbishment, but a few people have questioned the look of its newly-restored face.
Councillor Brian Topping, chairman of the Fraserburgh Regeneration Development Partnership, said he had been told by some people the face was slightly “unusual”.
He added: “The regeneration of the Faithlie Centre is a major piece in the jigsaw puzzle of Fraserburgh’s regeneration.
“I have heard a few people say that the face looks strange, but I think it’s just so different to see the statue with a face that people will get used to it.
“He hasn’t had a face for so long after it wore down and I’m sure everyone will be glad he’s back overlooking the square again.”
The repairs were carried out by using a painting of the 17th earl as there were no pictures of the sculpture with a face.
It has been made with marble from Carrana – the famous Tuscan quarry from where Michelangelo obtained stone for his memorable creations.
However, an outdoor environment is not ideal for marble, particularly in the days when streets and houses were lit by gas, coal and oil and it soon lost its original sparkle.
But now, all the Fraserburgh councillors are pleased to see it back.
Charles Buchan said: “Lord Saltoun, who had a good Waterloo in 1815, along with the Jacobite Lord Glenbuchat in 1745, are two of Fraserburgh’s military heroes.
“I’m delighted to see it restored to its rightful place. The artist has to be congratulated on the striking new look.”
Doreen Mair was delighted with the regeneration progress and added: “I’m not an art expert, but I have only seen one comment querying the face.
“The sculptor did the work completely in line with the dimensions of the old head, so I cannot see there is a vast difference.”
The £1million redevleopment of the Faithlie Centre will soon be complete and the facility is expected to come into use next month.