I was surprised to see Kelpies’ sculptor Andy Scott campaign for Dundee Council to commission him to create a large-scale whale sculpture on the Dundee Waterfront.
First, Andy Scott seems not to realise that Scottish councils are broke. When they cannot fund schools and social care properly, let alone roads and bin collections, they are hardly going to be able to justify millions for an iconic art project, especially if, as in Dundee, they have just acquired a very expensive iconic tourist draw in the new V&A.
Second, whales do not just enjoy a connection with Dundee, and they are returning in increasing numbers to the Firth of Forth. This is why Fife councillor Graham Ritchie publicly launched the Levenmouth Whale Project in February of this year. It proposes a 1000 ft pier crowned by a 100ft breaching whale sculpture in the Forth at Leven and it would give Fife an iconic tourist attraction such as those in Falkirk and Dundee.
Amid huge public and political support for the Project, a steering group is currently finalising a legal structure as the prerequisite for commissioning a feasibility study and business case. From the outset we have been clear that will not be expecting or asking for Council funding.
I contacted Andy Scott in February to invite him, or one of his representatives, to come to our first public meeting on the Levenmouth Whale Project and tell the community about the Kelpies experience. He was unable to attend and has not been in touch since. Our invitation remains open.