Mane attraction finds new home

IS IT a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a 20-tonne lion soaring across the Capital to a new home on grassier lands.

The massive sculpture made the trip from its old resting spot near the Scottish Parliament to St Andrew Square Garden.

The granite carving was lifted the height of a three-storey building by a crane at 6am. In a four-hour operation, it was hauled across the city above the trees and streets until it was placed in the square.

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Soon after its unveiling, locals and tourists clambered on the giant beast to pose for pictures.

The stone lion, by Edinburgh-based sculptor Ronald Rae, was chiselled from pink granite from Aberdeenshire, dated at 460 million years old.

Mr Rae carved the piece using only hand tools. It took more than a year to complete.

During the four years it was in Holyrood Park, Mr Rae was approached by private buyers but did not sell the lion because he felt it should stay in the public arena.