Oor Wullie, Scotland’s Favourite Son, has been immortalised in Dundee, the city of his “birth” in the year of his 80th anniversary.
The young scamp, who lives in the fictional town of Auchenshoogle, has been cast in a 4ft-tall bronze sculpture unveiled to invited guests and onlookers on Saturday. (5th March)
Sitting on the wall outside The McManus Galleries, Oor Wullie is aiming his pea shooter at a nearby statue of Robert Burns. Behind Oor Wullie on the wall are bronze replicas of his trusty satchel containing his pet mouse, Jeemy, as well as a catapult and a bag of peas to refill his pea shooter. Beside him is a poem “Tae Rabbie Burns”. (See below)
Former Editor Morris Heggie said, “The adventures of Oor Wullie have delighted Scots for eight decades. In that time the mischievous scamp has become a much-loved national treasure.
“We are used to seeing Wullie in the black and white world of print but here he is in 3D – in his own fabulous bronze statue. A magnificent tribute to Dundee’s cheeriest son. Oor Wullie himself would be delighted that the bronze catches him about to embark on his legendary capers.”
A life-size version of Oor Wullie’s famous upturned bucket sits beside him, allowing fans of the comic character to pose with him.
The latest Oor Wullie strip, which has featured in the Sunday Post every week since 1936, shows him turning himself in to a bronze statue to mark the occasion.
Editor of the Sunday Post and The Weekly News, Richard Prest said, “The whole team at the Sunday Post is delighted that Oor Wullie has been recognised and brought to life in this way. It’s a fitting tribute to mark the 80th anniversary of Oor Wullie’s first appearance in the Sunday Post – an outstanding achievement.”
The sculpture is the work of Scottish artist Malcolm Robertson and has been funded by private and public sources.
Mr Robertson said, “My artwork is all about making inspiring connections with people and places that hopefully will stand the test of time.
“Collaborating with the staff of DC Thomson, Powderhall Bronze Foundry, Dundee’s Planning Department and the McManus Galleries to create a portrait of Scotland’s favourite son has been one of the most enjoyable and fun projects I have ever undertaken since becoming a public artist way back in the 1970’s.
“Creating a public portrait of Oor Wullie has been a privilege and a pleasure, I only hope Wullie likes it, and doesn’t aim his pea shooter at me the moment my back’s turned!”