William Wallace Statue below the Monument

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William Wallace Statue below the Monument ( 480x640 )
This statue of William Wallace stood under the Abbey Craig hill at the car park of the National Wallace Monument. The statue depicts Mel Gibson as the main hero of the Braveheart film about William Wallace.

The statue was made by Tom Church, a monumental mason from Brechin in 1996. After his recovery from a heart bypass operation he was inspired by Mel Gibson in Braveheart film. He carved the statue from two blocks of sandstone in the high of 4 metres. It has the face of Mel Gibson, a targe emblazoned with “Braveheart”, a military flail and a claymore. He called the statue Freedom and donated it to Stirling Council which installed it at the place where it stood from 1997.

Although the statue was quite popular with tourists, the local people were quite critical to it. One of them called it a “lump of crap” and The Independent described it as “among the most loathed pieces of public art in Scotland”. Due to this it has been subject to regular vandalism: its face was gouged out, it had paint thrown over it, it was struck with a hammer, and someone chipped off the decapitated head of the Governor of York which had formerly graced the statue's base. As a result it was enclosed in a security fence.

Plans to expand the visitor centre, including a new restaurant and reception, led to the statue's removal in 2008. It was returned to the sculptor, who displays it in a castle-like installation at his Brechin workshop.
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