Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Director's Notes - May 2011

Monthly update from EWH Director Adam Wilkinson.

May 31, 2011

In October this year, Edinburgh World Heritage will move its offices to Acheson House in the Old Town, just off the Canongate and opposite the Canongate Kirk. After 12 wonderful years in No 5 Charlotte Square, it is time for a change of scene, and a clear response to the reductions in income from Government and the City of Edinburgh – the move will significantly decrease our overheads (although we still have to raise significant funds to continue the level of work of the last few years)..

We look forward to welcoming everyone to the building in the coming months. However, there is a good deal of work to be done to bring it up to the standards required for office use, having lain empty since 1991. The change of location will open up new opportunities for us, but we will be careful not to forget the New Town and the hospitality it has shown us.

Otherwise, it is business as unusual, with (for the history and art boffins amongst us) confirmation that the statue of Charles II, now restored to its rightful place in Parliament Square, is almost certainly by the 17th Century master carver Grinling Gibbons. During the restoration process, the conservators were able to make a detailed examination of the sculpture and of the similar bronze sculpture of Charles II at Windsor, demonstrating that they are from the same casts. Gibbons is not known for his statuary, rather he is widely regarded as the finest wood carver in England, making the Edinburgh statue all the more unusual. The full story has been followed and written up in the latest edition of the splendid Art Newspaper

The project for the restoration of the gardens and railings at Gardners Crescent continues, with the first phase of work complete. Local MP Alastair Darling kindly joined us and the Friends of Gardners Crescent for a small fundraising lunch for the later phases, which resulted in a number of very generous donations towards the later phases – currently the walls are looking good, but we are not quite there with the funds for the railings. You will see our signboard up on various scaffoldings across the city, a sure sign that there is strong demand for grant support and that people are getting on with repair works to their buildings, in spite of these difficult times

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