Duke of Wellington art set for new Glasgow hotel

GLASGOW’S most iconic and debated image - the Duke of Wellington with a traffic cone on his head - is now pride of place a new £7 million city hotel development.

Some of the hotel rooms will feature the icone-ic artwork. Picture: Contributed
Some of the hotel rooms will feature the icone-ic artwork. Picture: Contributed

For decades revellers have climbed the monument to adorn the statue by Italian artist Carlo Marochetti with the controversial headgear.

But the Glaswegian tradition has often come under fire - branded an act of vandalism.

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In 2013 the city council attempted to raise the statue plinth in a bid to stop merry Weegies scaling its heights.

While the Sculptor in Ordinary to the Queen in Scotland compares it to acts of cultural destruction carried out by so called Islamic State.

Now the Duke of Wellington statue, complete with traffic cone, has been hailed as part of “Glasgow humour” in a new ibis Styles Hotel in the Merchant City.

The chain, known for its unusual interior designs, has included a blown up image of the statute as a bedroom headboard and even included traffic cones on bathroom mirrors.

Dawn Campbell, one of the interior designers on the project, said the design was “based on the humour of Glasgow”.

She said: “ibis Styles were keen that guests can come in and see something humorous and fun.”

So far a sample design room has been completed but several of the 103 rooms as well as other parts of the hotel will feature the statue and traffic cone.

“We also have light fittings that are shaped like cranes,” she said.

“I think there will be four or five designs and there are 103 bedrooms.”

Talking about the image of the Duke of Wellington and the traffic cone she said: “It was one of the first things that stood out.”

She added: “I think the sample room has come out really well.”

Framed artwork featuring Billy Connolly’s banana boots, regularly worn on stage by the comedian in the 1970s, are also included in the initial interior design plans.

Other rooms may feature the running legs clock outside Buchanan Sreet Bus Station and familiar Weegie sights but are yet to be confirmed, said Ms Campbell.

But the Wellington statue and traffic cone design has been described by Alexander Stoddart as “capitalising” on something that is “profoundly unfunny”.

The Sculptor in Ordinary to the Queen in Scotland said: “The coning of the Wellington statue is part of a general, modern and barbaric impulse encountered the world over today.

“In Glasgow the phenomenon is seen weekly. In the so called Islamic State we see the same phenomenon at full strength.”