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2002-Oct-05: A Change of Plans for the Linda McCartney Memorial in Kintyre

The Aberdeen Press and Journal reports today that the bronze statue of Linda commissioned by Sir Paul is to be erected later this month at a council owned site in Campbeltown.   Sir Paul, who paid GBP 20,000 for the one ton statue has been kept informed of its progress and gave his approval of the work before it was cast in bronze.  The work was sculpted by Jane Robbins, daughter of one of Paul's cousins who said:
"I'm very pleased with it. I knew Linda all my life and I spent family holidays at their farm.   I chose the lamb because she loved animals - vegetarianism was important to her."
It seems, however, that  there will be no Linda McCartney memorial garden in Kintyre.  A garden and visitor center complete with a Linda McCartney photo gallery, was being  planned in Linda's honor with representatives of the McCartney family.  According to a source in Campbeltown:
"He (Paul McCartney) was going to make a memorial garden and it was pretty well tied up. The Forestry Commission was going to give the land, the enterprise company were putting money in, and there was going to be a gallery where he was going to show his ex-wife's pictures. That was before he got married again.  Now the whole concept has been scaled down very considerably. It was to be a visitor center, memorial garden and a studio and he was going to give to this trust a certain amount of Linda's photographs to give the thing a kick start.  We all thought it was a super idea because we thought it would bring in loads of people.

 "The statue was never going to be at the McCartney farm, the site was on the main road between Campbeltown and Carradale. It was right on the roadside, overlooking the land, into the sea. It was in the countryside about five miles from the farm.   It was a site that was selected after looking at eight or nine sites. The idea has been on the go for about two years, it's been a lot of work."

 George McMillan,  a former chairman of the old Argyll and Bute District Council, added:
"Yes, it is a scaled down project now and I am disappointed that the original concept didn't go ahead. The cut down, shortened concept is good, but not as good."
However, Argyll and Bute Council's head of economic development, Seamus Lalor, is confident that the statue will still attract the crowds when it is located in Campbeltown and will provide an economic boost to the area:
 "We are absolutely delighted that the organizers of the location of the statue have agreed to choose the Burnet Museum building courtyard as the location for the Linda McCartney statue. We have already carried out some upgrading work on the courtyard area in preparation for the statue coming. The statue is in Campbeltown now."
Mr. Lalor added that the council is was hopeful that it may be possible to exhibit some of Linda McCartney's photos in the Burnet museum building, after it has undergone a renovation project:
"We have had discussions about photographs, there is nothing agreed yet, but we would like to think that the museum could hold exhibitions of Lady Linda McCartney's photographs, we are cautiously optimistic that we might get that.

"The other project that was being considered was a multi-million-pound project which would require a lot of investment to be able to do it and maintain it. We were asked if it was possible for the council to be part of the project but we didn't have the funding to do more than I have indicated."

The date for an official unveiling ceremony for the statue is still to be decided.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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