Video: Bid to save Greyfriars Bobby from '˜lucky' nose rub gains support
TOUR guides have stepped in to help the campaign to save Greyfriars Bobby from damage by warning tourists not to rub the beloved statue.
The moves comes after a Facebook campaign was launched in a bid to stop the spread of the recent habit of tourists rubbing Bobby in the belief it will bring them luck.
The trend has led to the coating of the famous statue being rubbed away, exposing the underlying brass metal on Bobby’s entire muzzle and parts of his chest.
Reel Edinburgh Tours has posted a public service announcement on its website in the hope of discouraging the practice.
“Bobby shouldn’t be rubbed under any circumstances,” the message states. “You see his little nose? It’s getting really shiny.
“Visitors to Edinburgh think it’s a tradition to rub the nose and it will bring good luck – it isn’t, so don’t! Do not rub Bobby!”
Karsten Moerman of City of the Dead Tours has been trying for several years to stop it. She said: “We’ve even put signs on Bobby asking people not to rub the nose, but someone always takes them down.”
Mercat Tours also said they discourage tourists from touching any of the city’s statues.
And local Steph Tees, 35 who regularly passes the statue, said: “I think he’s lovely but it’s a shame he is being ruined by this stupid tradition of touching his nose. It’s literally been in the last four or five years that it all of a sudden started – it got fixed and the next morning somebody had rubbed it off again and it’s upsetting and its a waste of money to keep fixing it and folk to keep doing that.
“Why would it bring you luck to rub it? I don’t know where these traditions come from.”
Passing by yesterday, actor John Conboy, who featured in the 2005 film Greyfriars Bobby, got behind the campaign by helping to hang a sign around Bobby’s neck.
Edinburgh broadcaster Grant Stott has spent years drawing the public’s attention to wee Bobby’s plight.
He said: “This all started for me two years ago, when I first started doing it for Radio Forth. I did it as a public service announcement to discourage people from touching Bobby at the weekend, or any other time.
“I have lived in Edinburgh all my life and I have certainly never touched Bobby in all my years here.
“It’s very much a tourist thing. Something as treasured as Greyfriars Bobby you want to be preserved and you don’t want his nose wearing away.
“We might have to enlist the help of the tour guides to spread the word – any local will tell you it’s never been something that will give you luck.”
Edinburgh council, who took charge of repairing the statue in 2013, supports the campaign to try and stop damage to Bobby’s nose.
A spokeswoman said: “We always request the city’s statues and monuments are treated respectfully, and it’s great so many local people agree.”