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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.

Click to view attachment

Martin I think its a dreadful idea.
A Mackinnon
So! they want to remove the monuments & replace them with Port-a-Potties, what a crappy idea..........pun intended.
I agree with Isobel. These statues have significant historical value and should remain in George Square for tourists and residents alike to see and admire.
What a loss that would be. It's so wonderful to see statues of poets and writers in George Square. I love seeing all of the flowers at the foot of the Robert Burns statue every January!
Makes me wonder if there is any appreciation for the figures and what they achieved.They are a constant reminder of what made Scotland great from Engineers to medicine, literature and of course Rabbie.
There has been consultation going on in Aberdeen for months about changing the gardens and this was vetoed but it looks like the changing of George Square is a fait accompli.
The question in my mind is how are they going to move them without damaging them and where are they going. The whole idea is crazy, like we needed another concert venue next to the SECC and the Clyde Auditorium. WTF is going on in Glasgow Council.
Where did these crazy people get their minds from and why are they allowed to run a city I really hope there will be a petition to stop this as these statues are more important than any of our half witted council whom I doubt very much there will ever be any great statues erected for them... send petition to all persons on your lists and then send it to all social network sites in order to send to this crazy council and stop it before it gets to uprooting our memories and rights to presenting our visitors and residents of a great city...and remember that there are travellers from all over the world with families and friends who come specifically for the purpose of photographing these statues.
Yet another little bit less of a City of Culture.
It would be national news and the subject of national debate if the City of London Council announced this sort of plan for Trafalgar Square.
Make it easy to make a quick buck from commercial events and fairs and to hell with the heritage.
While we're at it, why not tarmac over Glasgow Green and pebbledash Provand's Lordship.


These are part of our history and George Square would never be the same.

I am just gobsmacked at this.

In total agreement with Jupiter. If we remove the statues George Square will be just a run of the mill park found in any city anywhere in the world. George Square is one of a kind please don't let them destroy it.
Mary Gill Keir
Dreadful idea....who had hair brained scheme! Leave them there!
How disgusting is this. I know I don't currently live there anymore, but it is the city of my birth and the place where I grew up through my teen years. Who the hell are these people who sit in our elected councils and dream up this crap. It is time to start hanging people from lampposts and taking back our lives and our history. These people have no respect at all,l and deserve to be treated accordingly.
Although i do not live in glasgow i used walk from bridgton to the square and admire that wonderful poet and bard rabbie to carried out this sacrilege is insult to the history and the people of scotland start a protition now and save our history.

littlebernie sad.gif
I can't believe this was even thought about.... How will they possibly remove the statues without damaging them. I was born in George Street my childhood memories are of playing on the lions in the square when I got older I appreciated the who and why the statues where there. I have lived overseas for many years when I come for a visit I always make for the square to sit and appreciate its beauty. Why oh Why would this be even considered.Shame on you Glasgow City Council.
An absolute disgrace,these statues are part of the history and heritage of the city and no doubt are a tourist attraction also.
The Council has no right to do this without the public being allowed a vote on this. I'm surprised a newspaper or an MP is not shouting from the roof tops about this silly idea.
Surely it would be easier (and cheaper) to remove the councillors from the City Chambers. That would smarten up the place somewhat.
QUOTE (Mary Gill Keir @ 14th Sep 2012, 03:10am) *
Dreadful idea....who had hair brained scheme! Leave them there!

The brainless and bigoted run City Council and all adding up too a few people deciding what they want and how we should be gratefull.
Time to get rid of Labour run Council who have proved through the years they have no brains
I'm with Billbo. Go for the cheaper option and remove the councillors ... but first find out who's giving out the back-handers; this smacks of corruption.
Absolute Disgrace !!!!!!!

Who is their right mind thought that one up sad.gif * shaking head in disbelief *
I think it's disgusting that these young up-and-coming councillors think they can remove all signs of our history. The statues depict the history of Scotland and they should be left in George Square and wherever else they may be in the country. For goodness sake, why does making money from these so-called concerts take precedence over the history of our country. At a cost of 15 million pound to remove these and create a sleezy concert venue is disgusting.

Leave Scotland, and Glasgow's history intact, and take your concert venues to the poorer areas of Scotland to help the economies in those areas. So what if people may have to travel (even by public transport) to get there, leave the city centre intact. Clean it up by all means, but leave the statues of Scotland's historic folk where they are.

George Square is a disgrace to Glasgow, it's ugly. You wonder what tourists actually say when they visit compared to other "squares" all over the world. The only saving grace it has is the surrounding beautiful Victorian buildings. Taking away the statues is outrageous but typical of the fools who run our city. Next thing they'll want to do is rip out all the marble from the city chambers and kit it out from Ikea!!!
I wrote to the council last year about the mysterious disappearance of the Crum water fountain. I got no reply. However, I also wrote to a historical society in the Busby area (where Mr. Crum came from) and they got an answer. Apparently the fountain had been removed to make way for a temporary ice-skating rink. As far as I know it has not been put back. Have the council been removing items from the square a bit at a time? I saw a woman on a news vox-pox saying "don't let designers anywhere near it." I agree with that lady.
David smile.gif
Does Glasgow really need 15m spent on it? There are parts of West Scotland that have a greater need for, at least some of that money?. Cheap run down and tatty all the way to Loch Lomond I say.

I am disgusted that they even thought of this, not surprised that they went behind peoples backs though as they know very well what the reaction would be. These statues are not just of historic significance but are a part of Glasgows culture and life its a damn disgrace. This is me being very mild about it, there has to be a public outcry that will put these half wits back in their place and put an end to this madness.
I note that none of the (so far) 9 voters in favour of this move has posted any comment. Are they afraid of being identified and being condemned along with the council ?
Where is the public consultation?

One of the rising concerns about for example the Olympics is the extent to which the whole ethos has been infected by commercial interests.
And here , the very centre of Glasgow to be stripped of it's heritage.
As it happens I have little interest in Victoria or Albert, but that is hardly the point.

William Wallace ?
It was previously published in the media re the proposed change / upgrade to the square..It was intimated the council wished to remove some of the statues...apparently some could not / would not be removed ...They (the council) were then going to put it to the public(the people of the city of Glasgow) for their views on any such removal..or changes to the square...Why are they not now going to put it to the people of the city...I understood that the proposed upgrade was to make it more people accessible..grass may have been put back and area made more of a central focus...They (the council) need to / should seek our views regarding any proposed changes to what is after all a central focus of our city and widely used by the public in general..
Think about it!

It is just another way for these money-grubbing councillors to try and make some more money to increase their wages. A previous poster referred to tarmacing Glasgow Green, well, they haven't done that yet but have come close. There is hardly a week goes by where there isn't some sort of event or other going on. Glasgow Green has gone from somewhere to walk/relax to being a money-spinning "Events Area" (their description not mine) to benefit the city fathers.

So to get back on to the subject in hand, it is time for the people of Glasgow to stand up to these "elected" representatives and let them know that they are on borrowed time and they have been chosen to implement our wishes and not for their own benefit.

By all means, improve the area by bringing back the grassed areas where the citizens of Glasgow can relax when we do get some good weather BUT the historical statues MUST remain. Let's make our point to these councillors and tell them that it is "our" city and we will decide on the future of George Square.
I left Glasgow 15 Years ago ,but to me George Square is Glasgow History and the statues should not be removed, when I come back I always go through the town also visiting george square.
What the hell is Glasgow City Council thinking of. Even to consider removing statues from George Square is a disgrace. I work as a taxi driver in Glasgow and I am always impressed by interest shown by foreign vistors in our George Square. It was bad enough several years ago when the council decided to tarmac over the square thereby reducing our "dear green places" even more. Can you imagine the uproar if this was Red Square Moscow or any other country.. Come on fellow Glaswegians let these people know we are not lying down to this, they need to be brought back to reality'. Ann McPherson
Removing the statues must surely be seen as the ultimate act of vandalism, if a group of neds had defaced and damaged them overnight the city would have been up in arms demanding justice, yet here we have the elected members of the Labour run council removing them to who knows where.

I just hope that they don't put them into the cities museum storage yards as i would fear for their safety, particularly the bronze ones, remember, if half a tram car can roll away undetected then what chance does Rabbie Burns head have.
I went past George square the other day and it's now an eyesore, i'm not only against the removal of the statues but fully support bringing it back to the babe market on sunny days it used to be. Ohh the shouts of 'ya jammy B' when I got sent to a site across from it still ring in my ears biggrin.gif
You know, reading over this piece of news re: statues in George Square I am now really thinking this is just a hoax piece of news (is it really true?) then again if it is (its not the first of April ) then it really means our city fathers have definately lost the plot, entirely, God help us all !!!! Ann McPherson
QUOTE (annmcpherson @ 14th Sep 2012, 10:39am) *
our city fathers have definately lost the plot, entirely,

Did they ever have a plot?
QUOTE (Jazzsaxman @ 14th Sep 2012, 01:33am) *
The question in my mind is how are they going to move them without damaging them and where are they going. The whole idea is crazy, like we needed another concert venue next to the SECC and the Clyde Auditorium. WTF is going on in Glasgow Council.

I agree wholeheartly with Jazzsaxman WTF is going on in Glasgow Council. Hit back next time we vote, that is the way to show them how strongly we dissagree with them. Ann McPherson
christine murray
Will there be anything left for me to see in Glasgow?? When i finaly get there from Australia to visit the home of my ancestors , i would love to see the monuments and history. Im not coming all that way to see the left overs of a rock concert. Stand up to this council and tell them what you want your city to look like. The stupid mayor of Melbourne has rubber stamped the removal of ALL the 150yr old the cobble stone lanes and road ways. What do these councils think theyre doing? Its destroying our heritage. Thought the stupid ones were only in Australia!
Hoax?? Thats exactly what I was thinking Ann but I checked the Evening Times site and this is what they are saying about this very sorry affair....

THE civic heart of Glasgow will be transformed into a building site from January.

This is how George Square looks just now -- but it will be all-change from January. After Christmas, the bulldozers will move on to George Square and begin the transformation of the area at a cost of 15million.

The first step will be to remove all 12 statues in the Square, including the 78ft (24m) column bearing writer Sir Walter Scott.

So they are to go and the square is to be shut for a full year also. This is just crazy stuff.... who actually comes up with these schemes and its costing us a fortune at the same time!!
Dave Fisher
Im sure if the statues were of 'Irish History' the councillors wouldnt even dream of moving them, has anyone started an e petition?
Frank Wilson
What are they thinking of? They will destroy the whole feeling about the place, it will no longer be unique to Glasgow but hey ho thats what the council they excell at destroying the culture and feel of Glasgow.They always plead they have scarce funds so where do they have 15,000,000 to spare,I,m sure that in these days there must be more pressing needs nfor that cash. The City of Glasgow belongs to the citizens , NOT the council who are there to run the city for and on behalf of the citizens and it's time they realised that.

To me it's like Edinburgh demolishing Princess st and building a mall as it's more modern!

Frank Wilson.
*Yellow Rose*
George Square belongs to the people and should be returned to the way it was before they put down red tarmac, that was a disgrace. Now you can't find a place to sit in the city centre as they keep moving away the benches and there is little grass areas. The square is now a mess and has been for years since they keep trying to make it into a venue. Why not look to the river side and develop that for open air events there is plenty of land at Tradeston. Who gave them the permission to take away the statues. I don't remember seeing anything on the New/papers relating to even the idea of this. This should have been voted on by the people as it affects the people who live their and visitors. The city has many places to stage events and that should be looked at. George Square should remain the place in Glasgow city centre that salutes the efforts and achievments of historical people, we have been named as the City of Culture please don't take that away from us.
PREPOSTEROUS 'Contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous' I can't think of any more to say - I am choked! angry.gif
Our poll vote says it all.
Des Harrigan
A terrible idea which will destroy the whole atmosphere and wher would they put them?
Why leave the cenetaph and remove the rest, they might as well leave the square barran and souless

15 million to be spent when things are bad crazy
A bad idea
Why not pull down that modern building on George st, that should give them extra as sapace, I doubt that would be missed

Bye for now, norrie
Absolutely no-way should they be allowed to go through with this! Like all cities throughout the world, our statues and monuments are part of our history. The city council are in office to look after, and protect Glasgow’s heritage and the statues/monuments are part of that. They belong to the people of Glasgow, not a bunch of farts sitting in a bureaucratic world pushing pens trying to justify their already inflated salaries.
Alex Moffat
The people who are making these decisions are 'elected representatives' of the people of Glasgow. I do believe it should not be necessary to be constantly 'consulting the people' on issues, I think when it is a matter relating to something that is seen as an iconic symbol of Glasgow and/or Scottish culture or history I think it is ESSENTIAL that the people of Glasgow and maybe even the Scottish people as a whole should be consulted. An official website should be set up so that as many people as possible can have a say in this matter. Sometimes our elected representatives do need reminding that we live in a DEMOCRACY.
Looks like yet another example of the contempt the city fathers have for the culture and history of Scotland as exemplified by the disregard for the sites of Wallace's Well and the Wallace Monument at Robroyston.I might add the display of similar contempt for the good citizens of Glasgow in deciding,without consultation,to spend 15m on this nonsense at a time of austerity.
Then again are we surprised???
bob paterson
OK. Hands up all those who voted Labour in the May Council elections? Happy now?
This is a terrible decision and must be revoked immediately. These statues are a heritage and part of our past. They are an icon of our city and must not be touched.
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