Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:17 UK

Burns statue to raise museum cash

Statuette of Colia
The statuette is one of ten created by the Queen's scupltor

A statuette of Robert Burns' muse created by the Queen's sculptor is to be used to raise funds for the new museum in honour of the Bard.

The bronze figurine, made by Alexander Stoddart, depicts Coila, the goddess who appears in the poem, The Vision.

It belongs to the University of the West of Scotland.

It has been given to the National Trust for Scotland in the hope it may be auctioned off to raise money for the Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway.

The statuette, which stands at just over a foot high, is one of just 10 which Mr Stoddart created to commemorate the merging of four West of Scotland university campuses in Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley.

The artist said: "Burns is a poet for whom compassion rises above everything else.

"That is why he is such a great man."

Everything about the statuette, from the story of Coila and 'The Vision', the intricate detail and the wonderful gilding work makes it truly exquisite
Nat Edwards
Museum director

Nat Edwards, Director of the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, said: "The sculpture is a stunning piece of work and we are very grateful for this generous gift from the University of the West of Scotland.

"Everything about the statuette, from the story of Coila and 'The Vision', the intricate detail and the wonderful gilding work makes it truly exquisite.

He added: "We are currently deciding what to do with the piece, however, it is likely that it will be auctioned off to raise money for the new museum."

Professor Seamus McDaid, principal of the university, said: "We are delighted to be able to support the National Trust for Scotland in this way.

"Making a strong educational and cultural contribution to the areas we serve is very important to us and this collaboration is a great way of supporting this vitally important development in Ayrshire."

The new £21m Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway is scheduled to open in summer 2010.

It is the most ambitious project to date for the National Trust for Scotland and a final fundraising push for the remaining £3.8 million required for the museum is under way.



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