The search begins for a sculptor of the Scottish WW1 heroine, Elsie Inglis…
It’s time for Edinburgh to finally thank Dr Elsie Inglis and give her the recognition she deserves. Almost £47,000 has been raised for her statue following the fundraising activities and events organised by ‘Team Elsie’, which took place in February and March this year, plus a donation from Edinburgh University and a grant from Edinburgh World Heritage.
The site of the statue (agreed by Edinburgh City Council) is outside the original hospital at 219 High Street, set up by Elsie in 1904 to welcome the city’s poorest women and babies. The planned date for the unveiling of the statue is 2024, exactly 120 years after the Royal Mile Hospice opened its doors.
Frank Ross, Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, says, “As a city, we have really rallied together to support a statue for Elsie and I’m so humbled by the response’’
“We are now so close to being able to commemorate all that Elsie achieved and everything she has stood for in the century since she died. The efforts of everyone involved have been tremendous and I thank every single person who has donated, attended an event or volunteered. We’ve seen the Girl Guides raise thousands of pounds through their ‘Sit Still’. We’re receiving substantial donations from the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh World Heritage and we just need a little bit more money to reach our goal of £50,000.’’
Having already reached an amazing 94% of the target so far, a crowdfunding page has now been created to top up the campaign, giving everyone the opportunity to get involved and spread the word on their social networks, to their friends and family.
Christina Sinclair, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, commented: “Edinburgh World Heritage is delighted to support the Lord Provost’s campaign to commemorate the life and work of Dr Elsie Inglis with a statue on the Royal Mile. Elsie Inglis’ work supporting education and rights for women is an important part of the cultural heritage of Edinburgh, and her achievements and influence extended far beyond Scotland’s borders.’’
“This statue will be a valuable step forward in acknowledging the women that have made Edinburgh the city that it is today. Edinburgh women’s achievements have been long overlooked by public sculpture, and a statue of Elsie Inglis will go some way to addressing that historical oversight. We look forward to working with the Statue for Elsie Inglis Campaign Project team to help create a piece of public art that matches the importance of her work, augments the Royal Mile, and highlights the role that women have played in Edinburgh’s history.”
The Project team are now taking forward the statue plans and beginning the process of inviting artists to submit their commissions. The final design, expected to be one and a quarter life size, will embody Elsie’s achievements for posterity in bronze.
The campaign’s aim is also to involve more young people, helping to secure Elsie’s learning legacy via a unique competition open to all schoolchildren, the winners will also be invited to attend the official launch ceremony – more details will be announced at end of May.
Crowdfunding link: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/a-statue-for-dr-elsie-inglis-campaign
For further information go to www.elsieinglis.org