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Old April 16th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #1
hkskyline
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Edinburgh's King Charles II Statue Restoration

After 300 years, King Charles statue needs hip replacement
9 April 2009
Edinburgh Evening News

HE is certainly not the first old man to need his hip replaced after decades of wear and tear.

But after watching over the Old Town for more than 300 years, cracks have appeared down the side of the statue of King Charles II in Parliament Square and the city landmark is badly in need of refurbishment.

City leaders have today launched a new public appeal to raise funds to restore what is the Capital's oldest statue.

The statue - which dates back to 1685 - is made of lead and has an internal framework of oak and steel. Last restored in the 1920s, heritage chiefs will need to take the statue off its plinth and take it back to studios in order to properly assess what needs to be repaired and how much it will cost.

However, similar lead sculptures elsewhere in the UK have cost more than GBP 100,000 to restore. It is hoped work will get under way later this year if enough money can be raised.

Both the city council and Edinburgh World Heritage do have some money to put towards the restoration but are now looking for both private and public donations towards the scheme.

David McDonald, project manager for Edinburgh World Heritage said: "The statue of Charles II has been an important part of the city for over 300 years.

"In the past it was the focus of celebrations of the king's birthday and a familiar landmark at the very centre of life in the Old Town.

"One of the main problems is a crack that has developed on Charles' side, so in a sense what he needs is a complete hip replacement. To make that happen though we need the support of the public."

Mr McDonald added that the statue was also a significant piece of public art in its own right having recently been attributed to the Dutch sculptor Grinling Gibbons, who was responsible for many of the wood carvings within St Paul's Cathedral in London.

The restoration of the Charles II statue is part of the on-going Twelve Monuments restoration scheme.

The three-year project involves the refurbishment of a number of iconic city structures, including the National Monument and Nelson Monument on Calton Hill.

Councillor Deidre Brock, the city's culture leader, said: "This majestic statue is the oldest in Edinburgh, occupying a prime position in Parliament Square.

"By restoring it to its former glory, we will be preserving a significant Edinburgh landmark for future generations."

A DURABLE TRIBUTE

THE equestrian statue of King Charles II is one of the oldest lead statues in Britain.

Erected in 1685, it was meant as a lasting tribute to the then ruling king.

However, the statue was only completed a month before his death and the plinth, which is made of Craigleith sandstone, was not ready until after his death in February 1685.

In total the statue and plinth cost GBP 3,557.

Recent evidence attributes the statue to the workshop of the famous Dutch sculptor and master carver, Grinling Gibbons.

City records show that by 1766 the statute was "in great disrepair and in hazard of falling" leading to two restoration efforts, one in 1769 and further work in 1786.

The inscription plaque was removed in 1817 to a vault in Parliament House, and in 1824 - when the statue and pedestal were in a poor state of repair - they were removed to Calton Jail, while St. Giles was being rebuilt. But the statue was back in place by 1835.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 06:23 PM   #2
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Source : http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site...ng+charles+ii/

Archaeological Notes

NT27SE 271 25750 73551

Oldest statue in Edinburgh, and possibly oldest lead equestrian statue in UK. Mylne's original pedestal of Craigleith stone. Statue completed within lifetime of the king (died 6 Febrary 1685), at cost of #2,580. Mylne was paid #938.14s. for pedestal. Height of statue c.8 feet from top of pedestal. Weight reputed to be c.6 tons.
A G Forgie 1952

Life-size equestrian lead statue of Charles II as Caesar. Supplied in 1685 by James Smith, Surveyor of the King's Works, probably imported from Holland. Pedestal 1835, a near replica of Robert Mylne's, incorporating marble inscription tablet of 1685. Statue restored in 1824-35 and again by H S Gamley, 1922, and E R Bevan, 1951-2.
J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker 1984

Painted white at the behest of the City Fathers, 1767. Following great fire of November 1924 spent nine years in storage in Calton jail.
M T R B Turnbull 1989.

ARCHITECT: Robert Mylne (pedestal), 1685.

REFERENCE: NMRS LIBRARY
Historical File -"Charles II Statue" -Historical Information
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 01:58 AM   #3
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It is a very handsome equestrian statue and I am thrilled it is being properly restored.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 06:29 PM   #4
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£50K ROYAL HIP OP
14 June 2010
Scottish Daily Record

A HISTORIC monument is to get a £50,000 hip replacement to save it from collapse.

Edinburgh's oldest statue - of King Charles II on horseback - needs urgent repairs after being battered by more than 300 years of heavy weather.

Rainwater has seeped in through cracks in the horse's flank and Charles's hip, causing serious damage on one side of the Parliament Square sculpture, which was erected in the Old Town in 1685.

Experts compared the job to a keyhole surgery operation and put a contract for the work out for tender this week.

The operation could also reveal another secret. Conservationists believe the lead structure's internal oak framework could confirm the theory it was constructed by Dutch master sculptor Grinling Gibbons.

Only once they cart the statue away and begin work will they discover the truth.

The six-month repair job will see the statue removed to a workshop and fully restored under a strict code of ethics to minimise further damage.

Leading the fundraising campaign for Charles II's hip op - which is half-way towards its target - is Adam Wilkinson, of Edinburgh World Heritage.

He said: "King Charles is looking a bit ropey because cracks have let water and frost seep in.

"As a result, he is lurching forward and needs a fair bit of careful specialist work to get him looking good again.

"Once we've got him open, we will hopefully see more evidence to point towards this being a Grinling Gibbons piece.

"We're excited this is going ahead because he is an important figure, not just to Scotland but to all of Britain."

Charles II was king of England, Scotland and Ireland, and his restoration to the throne in 1660 marked the end of republican rule in England.

The statue was erected after his death 25 years later.

Councillor Deidre Brock, of the city's culture and leisure committee, said: "By restoring this statue, we will be preserving a significant Edinburgh landmark for future generations."
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 06:45 PM   #5
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I guess it is not covered by National Health!
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