Charles II statue makes a triumphant return to Parliament Square

Edinburgh's oldest statue is back in town after undergoing a painstaking restoration.

The equestrian lead statue, depicting Charles II, was restored as part of the Twelve Monuments Restoration Project, a joint initiative of the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh World Heritage.

In October 2010 the monument was removed from its plinth in Parliament Square, and transported to the workshop of Hall Conservation in Rochester, Kent.

The statue was carefully dismantled to repair splits and cracks in the lead, and to install a new supporting framework inside. A layer of protective wax has also been applied to help protect against corrosion.

Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convener, said: "Parliament Square has not been the same since this magnificent statue was taken away for conservation, so it's good to see this monument back in place again. Charles II is the oldest of Edinburgh's many historic statues and this painstaking restoration means it is now preserved for future generations of residents and visitors to come."

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage said: "I am delighted to see this treasure fully restored and back in its rightful place at the heart of the city. This has been a very worthwhile project and I would like to thank all the donors, whose contributions have been vital to this project. The conservators have done a marvellous job, and everyone can now appreciate this sculpture in its original condition. This statue has seen many changes in the 300 years that it has been watching over Parliament Square and I am glad that we have been able to ensure its future for many years to come."

The conservation work cost a total of £59,255, funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh World Heritage along with very welcome donations from organisations and private individuals.

Donations were received from:

The Charitable Trust of the Society of High Constables, including generous bequest of the late James Carmichael of the Society's Ward X1
The Scottish Court Service
The Faculty of Advocates
Veneziana Fund
Manifold Trust
Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet
Old Town Association
The Sir J.D. Pollock's 1936 Trust
Miss C H Cruft
The Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland
Mrs J Zeigler
Mr John Knight
The 1699 Club
Ms  Elaine Morris
Ms Fiona Pearson
Ms Jessie Anderson

The restoration of the Charles II statue was part of the Twelve Monuments Restoration Project, a partnership between the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh World Heritage, charitable trusts and business donations. The Nelson and Burns Monuments have also been restored as part of this project.

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