New artist adds extra chapter to paper sculptures mystery

The new paper sculpture
The new paper sculpture
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IT’S the long-running literary whodunnit that has kept the Capital reading for over a year.

Now an extra chapter has been added to the mystery of the famous paper sculptures after an anonymous tribute was left at the library where the story began.

Kay Bohan, a worker at the Scottish Poetry Library, made the discovery in the children’s section.

Featuring a leaf, top hat and chalice and addressed to “Edinburgh’s paper artist”, it reads: “I took a leaf from your book, thank you so much for the inspiration.”

Capital crime writer Ian Rankin, who received the 11th and final sculpture, today said the artist, who he knows, would be touched by the tribute.

He told the Evening News: “How bizarre? The artist is in town to attend my talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival and I’m sure she’ll be beguiled and bemused by this.

“It all goes to show how the people of Edinburgh really do love a good mystery. ”

Colin Waters, from the Scottish Poetry Library said: “Kay had gone upstairs to shelve books when it caught her eye. It’s a marvellous thing to find.

“It’s not as intricate as the previous sculptures but it has still taken someone quite some time to make. We’re delighted that someone has been inspired by the works and has chosen to continue on in the same selfless spirit.

“These works have greatly helped in drawing attention to the Scottish Poetry Library and various other libraries.”

The mysterious artist’s sculptures were left at various locations around the city, including the National Library of Scotland, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh Book Festival and Central Library.

An accompanying note to the final pieces, left at the Poetry Library in November, read: “‘You need to know when to end a story,’ she thought. Often a good story ends where it begins. This would mean a return to the Poetry Library. The very place where she had left the first of the ten.

“So, here, she will end this story, in a special place . . . A Poetry Library . . . where they are well used to ‘anon.’ Cheers Edinburgh It’s been fun!”

Yesterday, the News told how the artist had penned an epilogue to Poetry Library director’s Robyn Marsack’s new book on the story, Gifted, while a national tour of the sculptures begins tomorrow.

By email the artist revealed her love of the city’s literary landscape: “Many have attributed selflessness to this project but at its heart is the opposite. At its heart is a woman, who had been a girl, whose life would have been less rich had she been unable to wander freely into libraries, art galleries and museums . . . a woman who still wants access to these places and yes, wants them for her children and maybe one day her children’s children.”