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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Dewar statue taken for clean-up
The statue was carefully lowered onto a lorry

The vandalised statue of late First Minister Donald Dewar has been removed from Glasgow's city centre in a three-hour operation.

The 9ft bronze figure was hoisted onto a lorry to be taken to the Edinburgh-based firm Powderhall Bronze, where it will be cleaned and repaired.

When it is returned in about five weeks it will be put on a raised plinth in a bid to prevent further damage.

It is hoped that CCTV cameras installed nearby will also help deter vandals.

The 30,000 statue, which usually stands outside the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre, has been defaced on several occasions.

Council officials have now decided to have it fully repaired at a cost of 25,000.

Masonry contractors CBC Stone, who removed the statue, are donating 5,000 towards the cost.

'Graffiti removed'

CBC Stone's Graeme Frame said the next stage of the operation would be carried out by Powderhall Bronze, a firm with specialist expertise in the conservation of outdoor statues.

"He's going back there really just to get the spectacles put back on and to get the graffiti removed, and repatinated," he said.

"That should take three or four weeks, during which time we will be taking the existing base away."

A new two-metre-high plinth will then be erected in the same position.

Joseph Mullin, who watched the operation, said he was looking forward to seeing Mr Dewar's statue back in place on a bigger plinth.

Donald Dewar statue
Masonry contractors, CBC Stone, removed the statue

"I'm sorry to see him on his back like this. You almost feel he should have been put in a box," he said.

Other people watching expressed concern about whether a bigger plinth would deter vandalism.

One woman said the late first minister, who was dubbed the 'father of devolution' deserved more respect.

"Hopefully they will leave it alone. Because he was a man who has done a lot for Scotland and to damage him at all is an absolute disgrace," she said.

The statue of Mr Dewar, who died of a brain haemorrhage in 2000, was officially unveiled in May 2002.

Within days Mr Dewar's glasses were left twisted and bent by vandals and in a more recent incident his leg was spraypainted.

Dewar statue removed for repairs
10 Oct 05 |  Scotland
Dewar statue damaged again
25 May 02 |  Scotland
Dewar statue damage 'not criminal'
14 May 02 |  Scotland
Blair condemns statue vandals
13 May 02 |  Scotland

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