Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Bear sculpture to honour John Muir unveiled in Dunbar

Steel bear sculpture Image copyright Colin Hattersley
Image caption The five-metre steel bear by sculptor Andy Scott has been unveiled in East Lothian

A steel sculpture of a bear in tribute to conservationist John Muir has been unveiled in Dunbar, East Lothian.

The welded artwork, standing at five metres (16ft) high, was sculpted by Scottish artist Andy Scott, the man behind the Kelpies.

The work of art is in tribute to Mr Muir, who was born in Dunbar in 1838. The bear is symbolic of his travels through America's wild places.

It is located off the A1, near the Spott Roundabout in Dunbar.

Muir emigrated from Scotland in 1849, and played a key role in the development of America's national parks, petitioning the Congress for the National Park Bill, which established Yosemite National Park.

Image copyright Colin Hattersly
Image caption Artist Andy Scott designed the bear

Sculptor Mr Scott, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art who has completed more than 70 projects across the UK and internationally including the Kelpies, said: "It is fantastic to see this sculpture finally being erected as part of the Hallhill development, especially in memory of such an influential character as John Muir, which is particularly apt given today's focus on the environment.

"This bear sculpture will provide an opportunity to enlighten people about the man and his work.

"It is a symbol of the wilderness John Muir was such a passionate advocate of and is testament to his incredible desire to protect the natural environment."

Image copyright Colin Hattersley
Image caption Artist Andy Scott is joined by pupils from Dunbar Primary School as the five-metre bear is unveiled

Angela Leitch, chief executive of East Lothian Council, said: "We're absolutely delighted that Andy Scott's latest eye-catching sculpture has been unveiled here in East Lothian.

"It's a highly appropriate way of paying tribute to John Muir, one of the county's most famous sons, who played such an influential role in the development of America's national parks."

The unveiling was marked by a reception comprising local dignitaries and schoolchildren from Dunbar Primary.

A competition will now be staged with local schools given the chance to nominate a name for the bear.

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