Euan McGrory: Bring zen-like tranquility to Edinburgh city centre

The free "Edinburgh Lumen" event will light up St Andrew Square and the Mound.
The free "Edinburgh Lumen" event will light up St Andrew Square and the Mound.
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It sounds like something that should have been left behind in the Summer of Love.

“Creating an aura of calm, the three unique installations will transform St Andrew Square, Assembly Rooms Lane and The Mound Precinct, into zen-like portals of tranquillity”. Zen-like calm is not something that you often associate with the bustling city centre, certainly not during December when the winter festivals make Edinburgh almost as busy as the height of August. That is what we are being promised, however, at the latest temporary attraction in the city centre, the Edinburgh Lumen.

It is easy to scoff at a public art installation which costs £80,000 and sounds so ethereal. If it’s peace that they want, the cynics will say, then why not stop and do nothing for a few weeks? No festivals, no expensive art work, nothing. Well, the simple answer is to recall the previous light installations staged in St Andrew Square. The Field of Lights and ‘stick man” installations looked beautiful, they were free, great fun to visit - for all ages - and filled social media with dazzling pictures of Edinburgh. They brightened up a dull period and attracted visitors when many businesses would otherwise be struggling. More of that? Why not?