Glasgow City Council today announced that it will be removing all statues from George Square as part of an expensive landscaping project which is expected to cost the city up to £15 million. The historical monuments could be removed as early as next year in a rushed effort to make sure the work is carried out in time for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
The monuments to be removed – without public consultation – include works dedicated to famous Scots like the bard Robert Burns and inventor James Watt, as well as unique mounted monuments to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The square's centrepiece, the 80ft-high column featuring Scottish historical novelist Walter Scott (shown below), is also to be removed. Only the Cenotaph is expected to remain in place.
It is believed that senior civic and business figures want to use the project as an opportunity to make Glasgow's premier civic space more amenable to hosting large-scale commercial events such as concerts, shows, fairs, exhibitions, promotional campaigns and sporting events.
The photo below shows preparations in George Square for one such event, 'Run Glasgow', which took place earlier this month.