Out and about in Glasgow


By Marie Davidson, assisted by Richard Binns, published 25th April 2012

Glasgow's George Square statues -‘Through the looking glass'

History is often illumined by writers of genius but Glasgow did not produce a Zola, a Balzac, a Dickens or even an Arnold Bennet. We are, therefore, thrown back on looking at other manifestations of a powerful and wealthy city to augment our knowledge of history, both local and national.

We may ‘read' the statues in George Square instead, looking at them as if just uncovered in an archaeological dig. Before digging, little or nothing can be seen. What is there is concealed. Similarly, the bronze statues are hidden in a traffic oasis, surrounded by parking bays, camouflaged by dark hard standing replacing lawn, rendered often invisible by temporary structures for the local council's ‘get rich quick' schemes. Last year, the whole area was occupied by eight hundred zombies for a Brad Pitt movie. The square is a pantheon: we shall show that the bronze inhabitants...

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