Scottish statue to stay topped with traffic cone
(AFP) Scotland's biggest city Glasgow has dropped plans to lift up a celebrated statue to stop jokers putting traffic cones on its head, after more than 10,000 people signed a petition in protest.
The city's council had planned to spend £65,000 (77,000 euros) to lift the plinth on which the majestic Duke of Wellington stands, in a bid to stop a tradition that it said gave Glasgow a "depressing" image.
Erected in central Glasgow in 1844, the statue shows the 19th-century British war hero sitting proudly on his horse, but students and revellers regularly delight in placing a bright orange traffic cone on his head.
The council said that by raising the plinth to 1.8 metres, it would "deter all but the most determined of vandals".
But with typical Glaswegian humour, more than 10,000 people signed an online petition describing the practice of placing a cone on the duke's head as a "cherished cultural tradition".
"Raising the statue will, in any case, only result in people injuring themselves attempting to put the cone on," the petition said.
"Does anyone really think that a raised plinth will deter drunk Glaswegians?
"We request that the council not waste tens of thousands of pounds attempting to stop this proud Glaswegian tradition."
The council confirmed on Tuesday that it had dropped the plans.
It costs £100 to remove the cone from the duke's head each time, according to local officials.