The new feature – a giant snow leopard – was skilfully hand-carved by Glasgow sculptor Robert Coia as part of the council’s legacy initiative that centres on twinning schools and parks in the city with countries and regions of the Commonwealth.
The snow leopard marks Springburn Park’s twinning with Asia and has been placed in the grounds of the peace garden.
It is twice the size of a real one and is depicted crouching on a rock.
Native to the high mountains of Central Asia, the snow leopard is a rare sight, with an estimated 6,000 left in the wild. Due to illegal hunting and habitat loss the numbers are declining.
They are known for their beautiful, thick coats and long tails and pupils from Balornock Primary have been finding out about the country, its habitat and how these relate to protected wildlife native to Scotland.
Examples of some of these species, chosen by the pupils, have been carved into stepping stones which surround the base of the sculpture.
Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, joined pupils for the unveiling. He said: “School pupils across Glasgow have been working on a variety of innovative legacy projects over the last few years. The parks twinning initiative has given our young people the chance to find out more about their city’s parks and open spaces as well as the different commonwealth countries and links we share.
“These magnificent sculptures will be a lasting legacy and feature in our parks for many years to come.”
The snow leopard is the tenth sculpture to be installed as part of the legacy initiative.
In Tollcross Park, there is an African baobab tree; in Auchinlea Park there is an African mask bench; a life-size elephant in Pollok Country Park; a Mackintosh-themed rose in Bellahouston Park; a giant panda in Queen’s Park; a tiki sculpture in the Botanic Gardens/Kibble Palace; a North American native bench at Glasgow Green; and a lycopod tree in Victoria Park.
Queen’s Park also features a wooden sculpture of Clyde the Mascot.
Robert is currently carving a whooper swan for Hogganfield Loch, followed by a palm tree for Linn Park. All the sculptures are made entirely of recycled timber from fallen, damaged trees and feature a bronze resin copper colour Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Legacy logo.
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