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Last Updated: Tuesday July 11 2006 14:01 GMT

Nelson's Column gets a makeover

Nelson's Column
Nelson's Column will be unveiled on Tuesday after having its first makeover for 20 years.

The famous monument of naval hero Horatio Nelson has had its arm X-rayed and restored with special stone.

The 51.5m statue has also been cleaned of bird droppings and made pigeon-proof to stop the creatures hanging out on Nelson's head and causing damage.

It's the second time the 163-year-old landmark has had a makeover. It took three months and cost 420,000.

The restoration included repairing Nelson's arm which was damaged when it was struck by lightning in 1880.

The statue was originally crafted in Craigleith stone, but the quarry shut 60 years ago and the stone became very difficult to get hold of.

Naval hero

Previous restorers used cement to repair the statue, but a school in Scotland recently found some spare Craigleith stone and donated it to help fix Nelson's arm.

Plastic spikes have also been fitted 15m up the statue to discourage pigeons from nesting on it.

The column was put up in 1843 to honour Admiral Nelson who died in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

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