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Best foot forward: Iconic Paolozzi sculptures return to Picardy Place

Posted: 5th February 2020
Much-loved sculptures by the artist Eduardo Paolozzi were returned to their home on Picardy Place today (Tuesday, 4 February) after more than two years in a temporary location.
The three-part bronze work, known as the Manuscript of Monte Cassino, was placed in the gardens between London Road and Hillside Crescent in December 2017 to make way for the redevelopment of the interchange between Leith Walk, York Place and Broughton Street.

The artwork depicting a hand, foot and ankle symbolises the destruction brought about by war while offering a message of peace, hope and regeneration and was gifted to the city in 1991 by Sir Tom Farmer.

Their return marks a key milestone in the project to regenerate the area, including plans to enhance public realm while improving conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “It’s great to see these striking sculptures returned to Picardy Place, where they were originally placed when they were gifted to the city almost 30 years ago. It’s been great that the local community has been able to carry on enjoying them in their temporary home at Hillside Crescent

“In the long term, the improvements to this area will deliver better pedestrian and cycling links as well as facilitating public transport access, encouraging active and environmentally-friendly transport choices. Enhancing public realm is also key to the future of the site, and the Paolozzi sculptures will provide a stunning focal point once it is complete.”

Sir Tom Farmer said: “I’m really pleased that the Paolozzi sculptures are returning to Picardy Place to sit within the piazza being created by the City of Edinburgh Council in front of St Mary’s Cathedral. I appreciate that the contractor still has some works to do around the sculptures this month, so now look forward to viewing them in their new surroundings when this work is complete.”

The area’s redevelopment includes the new Picardy Place road configuration, which was completed at the end of last year, while work to revamp the space in front of St Mary’s Cathedral is expected to be completed this month.

The future of the Picardy Place island site, which integrates with the new tram stop as part of the Trams to Newhaven project, will be subject to public engagement later this year.

Information on the project can be found on the Together for Edinburgh website.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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