Statues - Glasgow

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From Donald Dewar to the Duke of Wellington, Glasgow has a wealth of public sculptures, with former heads of state sitting next to fictional cartoon characters. Here are 15 of the city’s often overlooked landmarks

1. La Pasionara - 2. Lobey Dosser - 3. Buffalo Bill - 4. King William III - 5. Langside Battlefield Memorial - 6. Liberty - 7. The Mathematician - 8. Christ Healing a Blind Boy - 9. Bishop's Palace Memorial Pillar - 10. Heritage and Hope - 11. Blck Bull plaque - 12. An Clachan Memorial - 13. Thinking of Bella - 14. Mercurial - 15. Chookie Burdies - 16. Merchant House Weather Vane - 17. Bengal Tigress - 18. Hippocampus - 19. Suffrage Tree - 20. Cameron Memorial Fountain - 21. Cameronians War Memorial - 22. Aitken Memorial Fountain - 23. Commerce and Industry - 24. Wincher's stance - 25. Cherub - 26. Peacock - 27. The Gatekeeper - 28. Hutcheson Brothers - 29. Clyde Clock - 30. Beethoven

1 LA PASIONARA Clyde Place

THE figure of Spanish Civil War hero Dolores Ibarruri (nicknamed the passion flower or la pasionara) pays tribute to the 534 volunteers from Britain (65 from Glasgow) who lost their lives in the conflict.

Erected in 1979 at Custom House Quay, there was fierce opposition from Tory councillors at the time.

Sculpted in fibreglass by former shipyard welder-turned-artist Arthur Dooley, (who was so poor he could not afford the fare from his Liverpool home to see his work erected) it has the inscription ‘Better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees’.

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2 LOBEY DOSSER Woodlands Road

A FAVOURITE comic strip character in the Evening Times throughout the 1950s, Lobey Dosser was the creation of Bud Neil.

The bronze fictional lawman is seen astride his trusted steed El Fideldo, with arch nemesis Rank Bajin. Unveiled on May 1, 1992, the statue was sculpted by Tony Morrow and Nick Gillon, then final year students at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee.

The sculpture, which has its birthday celebrated every year by customers of the nearby Halt Bar, is the world’s only two-legged equestrian monument.

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3 BUFFALO BILL Dennistoun Village

BACK in October 1891, famed Wild West showman William F Cody, aka Buffalo Bill, spent four months in the city when he brought his travelling show to the East End Exhibition Building, off Duke Street.

Along with star attraction Annie Oakley and the Sioux Braves, Bill attracted thousands of people to his legendary show.

Unveiled last November, the statue is the city’s most recent to be erected. It now sits in the newly built Dennistoun Village on the exact spot where Buffalo Bill’s show took place.

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4 KING WILLIAM III Cathedral Square

GLASGOW’S oldest sculptural landmark, it sat on the Trongate, near Glasgow Cross, for 163 years before moving to this location.

Sitting astride a horse, the unknown sculptor has based the depiction of William of Orange on a second century statue of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. He is seen dressed as a Roman general, wearing a kneelength skirt and a laurel crown.

Unusually, the horse’s tail is set in a ball and socket joint, which makes the tail swing in the wind.

Originally the statue had four cannons reputedly used at the Battle of the Boyne. Two are rumoured to have been sold to make cannon balls that were used in the Crimean War.

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BUILT in 1887-88, this 52ft monument commemorates the Battle of Langside in 1568. The memorial stands on top of a hill overlooking the site of the battle, which marked the end of Mary, Queen of Scots’ attempt to regain the Scottish crown.

The Corinthian column was designed by architect Alexander Skirving, who also designed the nearby Langside Free Church.

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6 LIBERTY City Chambers, George Square

ALTHOUGH bearing an uncanny resemblance to the New York monument, this 10ft version stands at the apex of the City Chambers.

With Riches and Honour at her feet, Liberty holds her light over her head.

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7 THE MATHEMATICIAN Greenhead Street, Bridgeton

OVERLOOKING Glasgow Green, this sculpture stands atop the former Buchanan Institute For Destitute Children.

A former mansion house, it became an industrial school for boys.

Latterly, it was known as Greenhead Special School and then St Aidan’s, before being converted into private flats.

The sculpture, designed by William Brodie in 1874, depicts a boy holding a slate and piece of chalk.

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ON the site of the former Asylum For The Blind, this yellow sandstone sculpture shows Jesus healing a blind boy.

Erected in 1881 by architect William Landless, the building is now part of the Royal Infirmary.

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MARKING the spot of the 13th century Bishop’s Palace, this granite pillar contains a bronze engraving of the Palace. Built in 1912-15, it sits adjacent to Glasgow Cathedral.

The Bishop’s Palace was demolished in 1792 to make way for the Royal Infirmary.

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10 HERITAGE AND HOPE Atlas Square, Springburn

THIS bronze statue is meant to signify Springburn’s past and future. The young girl with her arms outstretched represents the community’s hope in the future, while the man is a worker from one of Springburn’s steam locomotive works, symbolising the area’s pride in its industrial heritage.

Sculpted by Vincent Butler, the artist used naked models in preparing the statue. It was unveiled in 1989.

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11 BLACK BULL PLAQUE Virginia Street

MARKING the spot of the old Black Bull Inn, now a Marks and Spencer on Argyle Street.

The 18th century inn was where Robert Burns stayed when writing to Agnes McLehose, his married lover. The affair inspired Burns to write his romantic poem Ae Fond Kiss.

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12 AN CLACHAN MEMORIAL Kelvingrove Park

THIS is a blink-andyou’ll-miss-it cairn that commemorates the site of the Highland Village in the 1911 Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry.

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13 THINKING OF BELLA Italian Centre

LOOK closely and you will see Glasgow-born sculptor Shona Kinloch’s work all over the city.

This piece can be found in the courtyard of the Italian Centre, just off John Street.

The Bella in the title refers to Bellahouston Park and shows an overweight male figure and life-size dog raising their faces to the sky.

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14 MERCURIAL John Street

ONE of three by Alexander Stoddart in the Italian Centre - the others being Italia and the matching figures of Mercury and Mercurius, all on top of the building - Mercurial represents the Roman god Mercury, also known as the Winged Messenger

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IN Buccleuch Street and neighbouring streets in Garnethill, Shona Kinloch’s Chookie Burdies can be seen perched on top of lampposts.

Around 150 aluminium pigeons formed part of the Garnethill Lighting Project in 1993.

Special thanks to statue expert Gary Nisbet. For more on Glasgow’s sculptures see:

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16 MERCHANT S HOUSE WEATHER VANE Merchant’s House, George Square

Based on the coat of arms of the Merchant’s House, this distinctive sculpture has a sailing shop atop a globe, representing the city’s trade with the rest of the world. It reflects the House’s Latin motto - toties redeuntis eodem - meaning ‘so often returning to the same place’.

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17 BENGAL TIGRESS Kelvingrove Park

The first sculpture erected in Kelvingrove Park, it shows a tigress returning from the hunt with a dead peacock to feed her cubs. The 1867 sculpture was gifted by John S Kennedy of New York - a Glasgow emigre who became a millionaire in America.

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18 HIPPOCAMPUS The Briggait, Clyde Street

With their bird’s eye view of the Clyde, two mythological winged sea horses, known as hippocampus, sit on top of the Briggait.

Originally built as a fish merchant’s, the painted white sculptures were erected in 1873 and sit above a portrait of Queen Victoria.

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The Suffrage Oak was planted in 1918 to commemorate the granting of votes to women.

A plaque erected beside the oak in 1995 states: This Oak was planted by the Women’s Suffrage organisation in Glasgow on 20 April 1918 to commemorate the granting of votes to women.

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20 CAMERON MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN Sauchiehall Street, Charing Cross

Glasgow's own ‘leaning tower’ is the memorial fountain to newspaper editor-turned-Glasgow MP Charles Cameron. Since being unveiled in 1896, the fountain has moved almost 11 inches ‘off plumb’ and now sits at an angle.

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In 1924, this memorial to the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) is the most dramatic of three war monuments in the park. The central figure is of a sergeant advancing ‘over the top’, a gunner to his left and a dead body to his right.

Originally a memorial to the 7074 Glasgow men who lost their lives in the First World War, it was updated in 1947 to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the Second World War.

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Unveiled in 1884, the Dr John Aitken Memorial Fountain was paid for by the people of Govan in recognition of the work of the much-loved local doctor.

The decorative cast iron drinking fountain is in a state of disrepair, with the cherub and basin missing.

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Believed to be the work of James Alexander Ewing - also responsible for the Beethoven bust - the winged female sits on a pavilion roof of the tenement block at the junction between Paisley Road West and Govan Road, above La Fiorentina restaurant.

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24 WINCHER’S STANCE Buchanan Bus Station

These bronze lovers are a familiar sight in the middle of the station. Sculpted by the appropriately-named John Clinch, they were unveiled in 1995, and show a dungaree-clad man embracing a mini-skirted woman.

At the man’s feet is an overnight bag with a copy of the Evening Times protruding. The name, Wincher’s Stance, was selected after a competition in the Evening Times.

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25 CHERUB Tron Theatre, Trongate

Designed by Kenny Hunter and installed in 1997, the cheeky bronze cherub forms part of a two-piece sculpture at the Tron Theatre. The other piece is a huge human skull imbedded in the back on the building at Parnie Street.

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26 PEACOCK Princes Square, Buchanan Street

An instantly recognisable structure, the giant iron and aluminium peacock is perched on top of the Princes Square shopping mall on Buchanan Street. It was sculpted by Alan Dawson in an art nouveau style.

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The largest suspended sculpture in Britain is also the city’s largest public monument. The fourstorey sculpture is suspended 35ft by a chain. It was designed by artists Matt Baker and Dan Dubowitz, who worked together under the name Heisenberg.

The vast glass photograph that forms one half of the pounds-100,000 project is being repaired following vandalism

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28 HUTCHESON BROTHERS Hutcheson’s Hall, Ingram Street

Glasgow’s oldest portrait sculptures, the statues to George and Thomas Hutcheson pre-date Hutcheson’s Hall by 150 years.

The monument was originally made for the Hutcheson’s Hospital in Trongate.

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29 CLYDE CLOCK Concert Square, Cowcaddens

Designed by one of Glasgow’s favourite artists, George Wylie, the Clyde Clock - often referred to as the Running Man - was commissioned by Radio Clyde to mark its 25th anniversary.

It was gifted as a thank you to the city. The 20ft sculpture is designed to act as a meeting point.

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30 BEETHOVEN Renfrew Street

A true hidden gem, this huge bust of composer Ludwig van Beethoven sits at the rear of the former piano warehouse run by T A Ewing, originally called The Velvet Rooms, now Guru nightclub.

The red sandstone bust was erected in 1898 and designed by James Alexander Ewing

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