Friday 21 November 2014

Two 300-tonne, 30-metre sculptures of horses' heads unveiled in Scotland

Published 08/04/2014 | 12:21

A lighting test is carried out on the Kelpies in Falkirk ahead of their  official opening to the public later this month. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday April 7, 2014. Designed by sculptor Andy Scott each of The Kelpies stands up to 30 metres tall and each one weighs over 300 tonnes. They are constructed of structural steel with a stainless steel outer skin, they pay homage to the tradition of working horses of Scotland which used to pull barges along Scotland's canals.  They stand at the entrance to the North Sea at the Forth and Clyde canal. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The Kelpies. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A lighting test is carried out on the Kelpies in Falkirk ahead of their official opening to the public later this month. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The Kelpies were designed by sculptor Andy Scott. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The Kelpies will officially open to the public later this month. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Each of The Kelpies stands up to 30 metres tall. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Each of The Kelpies weighs over 300 tonnes. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
They are constructed of structural steel with a stainless steel outer skin. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The sculptures pay homage to the tradition of working horses of Scotland which used to pull barges along Scotland's canals. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
One of the Kelpies in Falkirk. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The Kelpies stand at the entrance to the North Sea at the Forth and Clyde canal. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A lighting test is carried out on the Kelpies in Falkirk ahead of their official opening to the public later this month. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday April 7, 2014. Designed by sculptor Andy Scott each of The Kelpies stands up to 30 metres tall and each one weighs over 300 tonnes. They are constructed of structural steel with a stainless steel outer skin, they pay homage to the tradition of working horses of Scotland which used to pull barges along Scotland's canals. They stand at the entrance to the North Sea at the Forth and Clyde canal. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Electrical Engineer Stewart Donaghy inside one of the Kelpies as a lighting test is carried out. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The Kelpies at the entrance to the North Sea at the Forth and Clyde canal. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The Kelpies. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

A new Scottish cultural landmark has been lit up for the first time, days before the public get a chance to take a closer look at the colossal structures.

A lighting test was carried out on the Kelpies in Falkirk, central Scotland, before they play a key role in a series of events beginning next week.

A night-time arts event, described as the international launch of the Kelpies, will take place at the equine sculptures on April 17 and 18.

Artist Andy Scott's 300-tonne, 30-metre sculptures of horses' heads will be "brought to life" with a light, sound and flame performance by a pyrotechnic company.

The spectacle, which organisers hope will draw a crowd of thousands, will also mark the launch of this year's John Muir Festival.

Members of the public will then get a chance to tour the structures for the first time from Monday April 21.

The completion of the £5 million Kelpies marked a significant stage in the £43 million Helix project, which is transforming 865 acres of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth. The redevelopment is expected to attract an additional 350,000 visitors and add £1.5 million in annual tourism spend to the area, according to those behind the project.

VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said: "The John Muir Festival, which will launch with the official opening of this fantastic new landmark, will form a key part of our Homecoming Scotland celebrations, honouring an iconic, brilliant man from Scotland's past as well as celebrating our country's breathtaking landscapes.

"The Helix is set to be a major attraction in Scotland, bringing thousands of people - and real economic benefit - to the local community. The impressive Kelpies also offer a fitting tribute to Scotland's strong industrial past, as well as celebrating the myth and folklore that has encapsulated the imagination of visitors to Scotland for centuries."

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