This statue of the Duke of Wellington sitting on his horse, Copenhagen, is a familiar sight in the city of Glasgow and is much photographed by tourists. It’s the fact that for the last thirty years, the Duke (and sometimes his horse too) has generally worn a traffic cone of one sort or another on his head that is the cause of all the interest in what is a fairly standard statue. Students on a drunken night out or protesters of one sort or another climb up and pop a cone on the statue’s head every time the Glasgow City Council removes it. The image of the statue with cone even features on postcards sold in the city
Now the Council has caused outrage by announcing that they are going to raise the plinth , at a cost of approximately £65,000, in an attempt to prevent people climbing up to crown the Duke with a cone. The announcement was made yesterday, 11th November 2013 and within hours a ‘Keep the Cone‘ campaign was started. A Facebook page of that name already has over 53,000 likes with more being added by the minute andTwitter was alive with tweets, some even from City Councillors.
Whilst it may not be particularly reverent to the late Duke, hero of the Battle of Waterloo, the cone has become part of the city and the sheer size of the ‘Keep the Cone’ campaign shows how strongly the citizens feel about it.