It used to be just a boring old statue! Sculpted by Carlo Marochetti and erected in 1844, the statue depicts Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, on horseback. Sounds a bit meh. For 140 years or so, the statue stood in Royal Exchange Square without drawing much attention. But these days it's probably one of Glasgow's most famous landmarks, and was included by Lonely Planet among the 'top 10 most bizarre monuments on Earth'. So, what changed?
At some point in the 1980s, something happened - a bright orange traffic cone appeared on the Duke's head. When it was removed, you can guess what happened: another appeared in its place a few nights later. This tradition has continued ever since. When plans were made in 2013 to increase the height of the plinth, a #KeepItConey hashtag started on social media. It's no wonder that the cone has become a symbol of the city's humour.
This design shows Wellington with his headgear in its rightful place, and in the background is Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art - a suitable background for this iconic statue. Go on: indulge a wee bit of Glaswegian wit, and remember to #KeepItConey in your kitchen.
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This made a beautiful present for my friend who worked in the art market which ran outside the GOMA for years. He was really chuffed.