Treasured artworks to be moved from Picardy Place

Artists impression map of development of Picardy Place.
Artists impression map of development of Picardy Place.
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Three treasured artworks at Picardy Place are being temporarily relocated while the city centre site is redeveloped.

The Manuscript of Monte Cassino, Leith stones and the Sherlock Holmes statue are all being moved.

The artworks will return to Picardy Place once the regeneration of the busy junction is completed.

The Manuscript of Monte Cassino, also known as the Paolozzi sculptures, will be relocated from outside St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral to the gardens between London Road and Hillside Crescent from Monday, December 18.

The Leith stones will be taken to Hillside Crescent gardens, while the Sherlock Holmes statue will be looked after by firm Black Isle Bronze.

Transport and environment convener, Cllr Lesley Macinnes said: “During the latest phase of our consultation on the Picardy Place proposals, the desire to maximise public space has come across very strongly and the revised designs will clearly reflect this. The opportunity that this would present for the much-loved Paolozzi statues to remain in the area longer term has been viewed as a big plus by the local community.”

The Paolozzi sculptures, which comprise an ankle, hand and foot, were gifted to the city of Edinburgh by Sir Tom Farmer in the early 1990s and depict both the destruction brought about by war and a message of peace, hope and regeneration.

The pieces were designed by Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi, a Scottish sculptor and artist widely considered one of the pioneers of pop art, who was born and brought up in Edinburgh.
Sir Tom Farmer said: “Like myself, Eduardo Paolozzi was a proud Leither and, indeed, he went to primary school with my eldest sister Mary in the 1930s. I was delighted to donate these magnificent sculptures to Edinburgh back in the 1990s and am glad they have become so popular in the years since.

“Of course I am keen for them to return to the area outside the cathedral once the works are complete and am pleased to hear that, rather than going into storage, they will remain on public display in the interim.”