Greyfriars Bobby fear leads nosey vigilante to safeguard statue

Hazard tape and signs that appeared around the statue of Greyfriars Bobby on Thursday evening - warning people not to touch the statue
Hazard tape and signs that appeared around the statue of Greyfriars Bobby on Thursday evening - warning people not to touch the statue
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He is one of the city’s most loved residents with a tragic back story that has endeared him to millions, many of whom are keen to make his acquaintance by rubbing his brass nose for good luck.

But a mystery campaigner has taken action to preserve Greyfriars Bobby by cordoning the statue of the Skye terrier off with hazard tape and a ‘do not touch’ sign.

It is the latest move in a drive to stop tourists from tampering with the statue over fears the statue could further wear away after the council had to repair recent damage.

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The trend of rubbing the statue’s muzzle and chest in the belief it brings good luck has concerned locals and even drew the attention of the National Library of Scotland who tweeted about the issue in August. They said: “Hello. My name is Greyfriars Bobby. And I am a statue of a dog.

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“Somehow a rumour started that it’s good luck to touch my nose. It really isn’t. (Not least because I’m a biter!).

“And you will eventually wear it down. Please don’t touch it. Thanks.”

An Edinburgh City Council clean-up team was dispatched yesterday to remove the yellow and black tape after passers-by alerted them to the protest.

Evelyn Duncan from the Greyfriars Bobby – Save Bobby’s Nose campaign, set up in 2017, said: “I’m pleased that someone else has taken up the cause of trying to save Bobby’s nose.

“There seems to be a relentless drive by tour companies to make people believe it’s lucky to rub the nose regardless of the consequences.

“There’s definitely a real danger of it being damaged as people are constantly rubbing their hands over his nose and it will eventually get rubbed away.”

A council spokesperson, said: “We’re grateful to the kind person who tried to protect him, but unfortunately the tape they put down on the pavement is a slip hazard and we’ve had to remove it.”