Decaying mural of renowned pop art pioneer to be replaced and updated

A reimagined artwork of Eduardo Paolozzi will feature depictions of Leith in the artist's pioneering style.

Decaying Edinburgh mural of artist Eduardo Paolozzi to be replaced in Leith LDRS

A deteriorating mural of sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi is to be replaced with one showing the artist as an older man.

The striking artwork near the Shore in Leith will be updated after plans put to the city council were approved.

As well as displaying an aged version of Paolozzi, the new piece will also include “recognizable landmarks” from around Leith, where he was born, in the style of his work. 

A black-and-white mural of the renowned artist was painted on a vacant shopfront on Henderson Street in 2014 by Leith Late, a charity commissioned by the Friends of the Water of Leith Basin for the project. 

However, almost ten years on, it has “deteriorated and become badly weathered and is beyond repair,” plans said, adding: “It is therefore proposed that mural be replaced.”

Paolozzi, widely considered to be one of Scotland’s greatest ever artists, was a pioneer of the pop art movement whose sculptures and printworks attracted international acclaim during a long career before his death in 2005.

Numerous large-scale commissions saw his work transform public spaces including the London Underground, whilst his sculptures continue to take pride of place in the capital at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and at Picardy Place, where every day thousands pass the ‘Manuscript of Monte Cassino’ – a large bronze hand, foot and ankle symbolising the destruction of war.

The new portrait will be completed by former Glasgow School of Art student Halla Groves-Raines, who was previously short-listed for the Linbury Prize for Stage Design.

Plans state: “The mural will remain a portrait will be of Eduardo Paolozzi, this time as an older man, with some recognizable Leith landmarks in the background being treated in the pop art style, based on Paolozzi’s work.

“The proposed works would include taking down the existing mural, building a subframe, fitting the surface boards, scanning, printing, and mounting the mural.

“This is the same method as last time, albeit using more durable materials, including marine grade plywood for the subframe and surface boards and stainless steel for the fixings.”

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