Restora­tion of iconic north-east statue nears com­ple­tion

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS -

The painstak­ing process to re­store an iconic north-east statue could be com­pleted early next year.

Ever since the mid19th Cen­tury the ef­figy of Alexan­der Fraser, the 17 th Lord Sal­toun, has looked out on Fraser­burgh’s Sal­toun Square.

Fraser was known as “Water­loo Sal­toun” af­ter fight­ing in the Napoleonic Wars.

Sculp­tor Ed­ward Stephen cre­ated the stone mon­u­ment and it ar­rived in the port in 1859.

Ever since it has taken pride of place above the door to Sal­toun Cham­bers, but with the cen­tre in the mid­dle of a ma­jor re­vamp the statue is get­ting its very own makeover.

The for­mer coun­cil cham­ber is be­ing trans­formed into an en­ter­prise hub to sup­port fledg­ling busi­nesses known as the Faith­lie Cen­tre.

Mo­ray-based stone con­ser­va­tor Karolina Al­lan has been work­ing with the peo­ple be­hind the near £6 mil­lion Fraser­burgh 2021 re­gen­er­a­tion scheme.

She has been tasked with restor­ing the statue’s face, which has faded af­ter tak­ing a bat­ter­ing from the north-east weather over the years.

Mrs Al­lan has cre­ated a clay mould to repli­cate the orig­i­nal work car­ried out by Ed­ward Stephen and this will be carved in mar­ble to match the fig­urine.

She said it has not been an easy job and she has used por­traits of Lord Sal­toun to help fin­ish off the restora­tion.

Mrs Al­lan said: “This is one of the most chal­leng­ing projects. A mar­ble statue with a lot of com­plex prob­lems in the north of Scot­land in an ex­posed lo­ca­tion is a chal­lenge for ev­ery con­ser­va­tor.

“I have an­a­lysed the artist’s work and gath­ered all the por­traits of Lord Sal­toun.

“Now I can just hope that I will tell a sim­i­lar story and the face­less man will get the right-look­ing kind of face back.”

Mrs Al­lan hopes to fully com­plete the statue restora­tion pro­ject by either Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary 2019. It is not known when the ef­figy when look out across Sal­toun Square again.

Fraser­burgh 2021 is a coun­cil-run scheme that aims to im­prove the port by of­fer­ing money to lo­cal firms so they can im­prove their shop fronts.

It also aims to trans­form derelict build­ings around the town cen­tre.

In Oc­to­ber work be­gan to re­ju­ve­nate the Penny Schoolie and last month award-win­ning café Nooks and Cran­nies se­cured a grant to re­vamp their shop front.

“I have an­a­lysed the artist’s work and gath­ered all the por­traits of Lord Sal­toun”

PRO­JECT: The Lord Sal­toun mon­u­ment had taken a bat­ter­ing from the el­e­ments

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