THEY are two of Scotland’s most revered comedians, forged in peels of laughter on the River Clyde.
Billy Connolly – the Big Yin from Glasgow – and Chic Murray, the Greenock-born funnyman who together have kept generations of Scots smiling.
Little wonder then that businessman Colin Beattie thought he should honour them with a £100,000 bronze sculpture of them together, frozen in time on a see-saw.
He even had the perfect spot for the life sized artwork called ‘The Patter’ – created by renowned sculptor David Annand.
Outside his famous Oran Mor pub in Glasgow.
But instead they have been languishing in a warehouse for the last seven years because of a dispute with Glasgow City Council.
It owns a three-metre stretch of footway outside the theatre/bar in the city’s west end and have signalled their opposition to plans to create a garden there with the statues as its centre piece.
Mr Beattie says he is “beeling mad” at the situation and has launched a campaign to have the area of ground handed over to him so the statues can be placed in their intended location.
The entrepreneur says if he is not successful he may be forced to hand over the pieces to a friend who runs a hotel in Edinburgh – Billy Lowe – who has owned close to 40 venues in the Capital including Black Ivy.
Beattie said: “I planned to locate the statues on the original garden edge which ran past the building.
“Many years ago, Strathclyde Regional Council made a compulsory purchase order of this stretch of ground, with the view to creating an underpass for a railway station at the Botanics across the road.
“But, of course, this never happened. And since buying the building I’ve been battling to have the area returned to Oran Mor.
“I’ve spent this sort of money because I love the idea of public art. But it seems there is no reasoning with the council and this has been underlined many times over the years in discussions with planning.
“We are dismayed as to why our request to bring back the North Garden is meeting with resistance.
“It breaks my heart. But what else can I do with them? My friend Billy Lowe, who owns a hotel in Edinburgh, is prepared to take them, and it’s great they will be given a home.”
A spokesman for Glasgow Council said talks had been held but no formal application has been received or refused.