A huge fibreglass sculpture of a baby which attracted unprecedented crowds while it was on exhibit in Edinburgh has been bought for the city.
Ron Mueck sculpture called "A Girl" will arrive this year in Edinburgh
Ron Mueck's sculpture called A Girl has been secured for £400,000 for exhibiting in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
While it was on show in Edinburgh last year, 130,000 people went to view it over a nine week period.
The Art Fund gave a £50,000 grant towards the purchase of the art work.
The Ron Mueck exhibition in 2006 became the most popular contemporary show ever organised by the National Galleries of Scotland.
A Girl is a huge sculpture of a newborn baby, rendered in painstaking detail complete with umbilical cord.
Mueck's sculpture includes every tiny detail down to the baby's wispy hair and hundreds of tiny folds and wrinkles in her skin.
Ron Mueck's work became famous in 1997 when a poignant sculpture of his dead father's small, naked body was exhibited at the Royal Academy's Sensation exhibition in London.
Since then his life-like sculptures, often naked and always much larger or much smaller than real life, have caused a worldwide sensation.
David Barrie, director of The Art Fund said: "Last year Edinburgh took Ron Mueck's extraordinary sculpture to its heart, and it's wonderful that it will now be going on permanent display in the city for which it was made.
"Like all of Mueck's work, A Girl is a very powerful sculpture, breathtaking in its technical mastery. It will astonish all who see it, old or young."
Richard Calvocoressi, director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, said: "I am delighted that Mueck's gigantic painted fibreglass baby has found a home in Scotland.
"We have an outstanding collection of super-realist sculpture and I am sure she will become as iconic and familiar as Duane Hanson's life-size Tourists."
The Ron Mueck exhibition is currently on display at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa from 2 March to 6 May 2007.
It is understood A Girl will arrive in Edinburgh at the end of the year.