Mini Kelpies statue set for Edinburgh’s West End

The mini-Kelpies sculpture will be sited in Edinburgh's West End over the festival period. Picture: Jamie Forbes

The mini-Kelpies sculpture will be sited in Edinburgh's West End over the festival period. Picture: Jamie Forbes

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A MINI version of the iconic Kelpies sculpture is to be installed in Edinburgh.

The 10ft-high ‘maquettes’ were used as a basis for the world-famous sculpture at the Helix Parkland - a £43 million regeneration project near Falkirk.

These fantastic creations represent a modern Scottish landmark so we are delighted to be able to host them here over the busy Festival period

Lesley Hinds

This weekend, the sculpture will be placed at the junction of Princes Street, Shandwick Place and Lothian Road for the duration of summer, as part of the capital’s drive to celebrate Edinburgh’s new-look West End sector.

It is hoped that the mini-Kelpies will help to encourage footfall, promote local businesses and raise awareness of the original sculpture.

The council’s Transport Convener Lesley Hinds said: “These fantastic creations represent a modern Scottish landmark so we are delighted to be able to host them here over the busy Festival period.

“The West End of Edinburgh is currently undergoing a series of improvements which, alongside this striking artwork, will vastly improve the area for residents, shoppers and visitors to the city.”

Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s spokesman for Culture, Leisure and Tourism added: “We’re absolutely thrilled that the Maquettes will be in the thick of it during the Edinburgh Festival this year, promoting The Kelpies to the millions of visitors who are expected to travel to the capital for the event.

“It will encourage tourists to learn about this fantastic public sculpture and take a short trip to the Falkirk area to see it for themselves during their stay.”

Since the opening of the sculpture in April 2014, the miniatures - hand-crafted by sculptor Andy Scott - have travelled as far afield as Chicago, New York, Glasgow and North Carolina.

Michael Apter, chair of Edinburgh’s West End BID, said that he was ‘delighted’ that the maquettes were being brought to the city centre, adding: “The sculptures have already created a huge impact in Scotland, and we are really excite to see the models draw crowds to our part of the city centre, and into our businesses.”

The Kelpies sculpture, a 30-metre tall public artwork weighing 300 tonnes, was funded by The Big Lottery Fund, Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals, and is part of the gateway to the new section of canal in Falkirk linking the Forth and Clyde rivers.

The two giant horse heads - the world’s largest equine sculpture - pay homage to Scotland’s tradition of working horses and their role in pulling barges along canals, as well as being a nod to the Scottish mythical creature of the same name.

The mini-Kelpies will be in Edinburgh’s West End until the end of the Edinburgh Festival.

Members of the public and tourists are encouraged to tweet selfies with the sculpture using the hashtag #kelfie15.

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