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Campaigners call for Duke of Wellington traffic cone to be listed

November 13 2013

Campaigners call for Duke of Wellington traffic cone to be listed
A long-running game of cat and mouse between Glasgow City Council and those seeking to have a traffic cone permanently placed on the head of a Duke of Wellington statue has reached a head with protest calling for the ensemble to be listed.

Police were involved in a stand-off with 150 pro-cone campaigners at the foot of the Queen Street landmark last night, celebrating a council U-turn over moves to raise the statues plinth to prevent people from scaling the monument to place its trademark cone.

Commenting on the campaign Urban Realm editor John Glenday said: “It is ironic that a statue situated on the very porch of the Gallery of Modern Art, itself a temple to subversive modern Glasgow, should fall prey to the city council’s unique brand of puritanical conservatism.

“Glasgow is not a museum and whilst tastes may differ as to the aesthetic merits of marrying road traffic paraphernalia to the head of a 19th century politician, a significant proportion of Glaswegians have come to adopt the coned figure as one of their own – often those who otherwise feel a lack of empathy toward the cold and distant historic figurines which invisibly line our streets and public spaces.

“That people wish to take ownership of one such monument is an act of civic engagement which should be encouraged, not obstructed. It gives the monument a relevance to today’s city which it otherwise lacks and adds a ready-made point of interest on the city’s tourist trail.”


#1 Posted by wonky on 13 Nov 2013 at 14:47 PM
Couldn't we get one of those redundant govan shipyarders to go up with a blowtorch and weld a bronze cone onto the top of his nut?
Neil C
#2 Posted by Neil C on 13 Nov 2013 at 15:39 PM
It's hard to believe that GCC have tried to ban cones from the Duke of Wellington. We're talking about a statue that's being light-heartedly decorated by local citizens, outside a contemporary art gallery, reflecting our local humour, while being championed by the city's council's own marketing team, and earning the statue global recognition as a tourist attraction.

Unless you're an ardent royalist, what on earth is there to object to?
Big Chantelle
#3 Posted by Big Chantelle on 13 Nov 2013 at 16:38 PM
Keep the cone! It's a mark of respect for Mr Wellington who was the founder of the capital of New Zealand and in this commonwealth games year coming up, it would be great PR for one of our sounthern hemisphere neighbours.
#4 Posted by brian on 13 Nov 2013 at 17:35 PM
The Duke was Irish im sure he would have chuckled,same sence of humour etc.And he liked the beef.
#5 Posted by Chris on 13 Nov 2013 at 23:30 PM
It was funny ten years ago.
#6 Posted by Sven on 14 Nov 2013 at 14:55 PM
Putting an orange plastic cone on an historic statue is not amusing. It makes Glaswegians look even more vulgar and the city more naff to tourists and locals alike.

The so called protestors looked like a rent-a-mob from a special school. Using disabled people in such a way is just dreadful.
Art Vandelay
#7 Posted by Art Vandelay on 14 Nov 2013 at 15:09 PM
Vulgar? Hmmm. Not sure you've got that right.

But in any case, it's hardly something to get worked up about. You'd have to be pretty joyless to take offence.
Big Chantelle
#8 Posted by Big Chantelle on 14 Nov 2013 at 18:03 PM
@Sven said ".... It makes Glaswegians look even more vulgar ..."

Even more vulgar? So in your Glaswegians are already vulgar? Lovely sentiment there Sven. Nothing like a little cultural bigotry for a Thursday.
The Bairn
#9 Posted by The Bairn on 15 Nov 2013 at 14:10 PM
Tut tut have fallen into the trap of making trivia more important than it is, surely not worth the attention. Small country, parochial views, narrow minded Weegies et al. Maybe this website should ignore such petty subjects. In my opinion the cone is just litter which shouldnt be there. Get rid for good!!
Jimbob Tanktop
#10 Posted by Jimbob Tanktop on 16 Nov 2013 at 02:06 AM
"Using disabled people in such a way is just dreadful"

Because people who use wheelchairs are incapable of coming to a conclusion about anything? You seem like a lovely human being Sven. It would be a shame if we never met. So it goes.
#11 Posted by Andrew on 17 Nov 2013 at 22:40 PM
Putting a cone on a 19th century statue is so cliche and unoriginal, as well as being essentially disrespectful to the memory of someone who help defeat tyranny. The irony is that the iconoclastic thing to do would be to dare to take the cheap and nasty cone off!
#12 Posted by Murraymint on 18 Nov 2013 at 15:55 PM
At the end of the day, no matter your opinion on the Iron Duke, it is still a work of art which is being damaged. It is not so long since there was a proposal to erect railings round the base as the friezes were being eroded by budding mountaineers clambering up the sides.
To say that the cones represent Glaswegian humour is nonsensical, as it's just another example of drunken behaviour which is unfortunately all to common in Glasgow these days. And just wait until the first clown falls and gets injured to see who gets the blame. Of course it will be GCC for not ensuring that the statue was adequately protected in the first place!
One final point. Why does there always seem to be a ready supply of cones available? Would that be the one which always seems to be parked at the corner of the gallery along from the front door?
Mr J K Murray
#13 Posted by Mr J K Murray on 18 Aug 2014 at 12:30 PM
There is one event noted in the world, the battle of Waterloo, he used to say [Hon Duke of Wellington] that he read so many conflicting descriptions of the battle that he would soon begin to believe he was not there himself or that the British army had ever fought a battle. Over 150.000 people to fight a war of which the ignorant Scottish people want to treat a statue, act like there in a school playing ground, to deface a situation, if it had not be won, they would not have the freedom to act like they are under seven years of age. The reality of these people to deface anything British shows the limits of there own intelligence, they are just' unchristian people.

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