Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Monday, 5 July 2010 15:01 UK
Cardiff Castle's animal wall under repair
Anteater on Cardiff's Animal Wall
The anteater's missing nose will be replaced

A wall which features sculptures of animals surrounding Cardiff Castle is being restored.

Nine of the 15 sculpted creatures were created in the 1890s while the other six added between 1925 and 1930.

The work will replace the anteater's missing nose as well as the missing glass eyes in the nine original animals.

Graffiti will be cleaned off the back of the wall and a traditional lime mortar will be reinstated.

The work is being carried out as part of the £5.6m Bute Park restoration project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw.

It is due for completion by October 2010.

The animal wall was designed in the 1866 by architect William Burgess for the third Marquis of Bute who was the owner of Cardiff Castle at that time.

The wall was completed in the early 1890s following Burges's death by his former deputy William Frame.

The original animals were carved by Thomas Nicholls and painted in naturalistic colours although there is no plan to repaint them.

Animal wall
The original animal wall around Bute Park was designed by William Burges

The wall was originally located in front of the castle but was moved to its current position to the left of the entrance in 1922 when Duke Street was widened.

Six new animals were commissioned at this time and stylistically they are different and do not have the glass eyes of the originals.

The wall has been cleaned and undergone minor repairs over the years, but problems have been caused by the use of inappropriate mortars.

Councillor Nigel Howells, Cardiff council's executive member for sport, leisure and culture, said: "The historic animal wall is unique to Cardiff and attracts thousands of visitors and tourists to the city each year.

"I'm delighted that the project will allow the much loved landmark to be restored."

Jennifer Stewart, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: "Returning the animal wall to its former glory is an important development in the Bute Park Restoration Project."

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