The world’s largest horse-head sculptures are to take pride of place, 30 metres above the Forth and Clyde Canal in Scotland.
The steel-plated equine sculptures are part of a £43 million project to transform a 350-hectare of greenfield land, close to Falkirk Football Club’s stadium, into a major visitor attraction called The Helix.
The horses are known as the Kelpies, which are supernatural water horses from Celtic folklore. They are being created by Glasgow-based sculptor Andy Scott, and will form a dramatic gateway at the eastern entrance.
“As far back as six years ago I wrote of the Kelpies as monuments to the horse and a peaen to the lost industries of the Falkirk area and of Scotland,” Scott told The Scotsman.
“I wrote of working horses. Of their role in the progress of modern society, as the powerhouses of the early industrial revolution, the tractors of early agriculture and, of course, the first source of locomotion for barges on the Forth and Clyde Canal which the Kelpies will soon inhabit.”
Getting them in place is a huge logistical operation as they need to be transported from a plant in north Yorkshire to The Helix site in central Scotland. Public access to the canal area will be kept open during their construction to allow people to see the massive works of art take shape.
Steve Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Canals, believes that people will come all over the world to see the horses.
“If you are bold and ambitious, as with the Falkirk Wheel, it has an impact,” he said. “The Angel of the North changed the whole mindset in the north-east of England."