Sculpture causes Panda-monium

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IF you want to know why there is now a giant panda in Queen’s Park — just ask Langside pupils!

The school’s primary six class joined sculptor Robert Coia to help carve and design the Commonwealth legacy sculpture.

Weighing almost three tonnes and standing more than three metres tall, the giant panda — which was skilfully carved from recycled oak timber — was unveiled yesterday to a crowd of parents, teachers and councillors.

It’s one of the 11 being installed as part of the council’s legacy initiative which centres on twinning schools and parks in the city with Commonwealth countries.

The panda is the latest sculpture in a city park, following a life-size elephant in Pollok Country Park, and the Mackintosh-themed rose in Bellahouston Park.

Queen’s Park is twinned with Asia and pupils from Langside primary have been finding out about the country, its habitat and other endangered wildlife. Examples of some of these species, chosen by the pupils, have been carved into stepping stones which surround the base of the main sculpture.

The giant panda sculpture is depicted climbing in the fork of a tree. It also features a bronze resin copper colour Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Legacy logo.

Councillor Archie Graham, executive member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow city council, said: “These are remarkable pieces of work and an example of the unique talent our city has.

“It’s hard to believe this amazing feature was hand-made. Robert is an exceptionally talented individual and brings his sculptures to life.

“The pupils have also done a fantastic job. ”

Head teacher Christine Wilson told The Extra: “The children loved the opportunity to work with an artist and they should be very proud of themselves. They worked hard during a number of afternoons and it is great to see the final result.”

Abby McPherson (10) added: “I wasn’t expecting the sculpture to be that big, it is great that our work is displayed in our park and I can see it every time I visit.”