The 124-year-old bronze statue of Robert Burns has come home to Leith after two years of renovation.

It is entirely fitting that the statue comes home today as this is the anniversary of Burns’ birth in 1759.

The statue was removed from the junction of Constitution Street and Baltic Street to allow the tram line to Newhaven to be laid.

Councillors, including the Council Leader, Adam McVey who is the local councillor, attended a ceremony on Tuesday morning when they oversaw the unveiling of the newly refurbished statue.

Edinburgh Makar Alan Spence also joined the specialist stone conservator, Nic Boyes, who replaced a new time capsule under the statue alongside another which was discovered during previous works in 2019, and which contained relics from the late 19th century and the 1960s.

They also marked the placement of a new time capsule underneath the statue, alongside an original capsule discovered in 2019, which contained relics from both the late 19th century and the 1960s.

The black plastic bag is released so that Rabbie can be viewed in public once more PHOTO ©2022 The Edinburgh Reporter

Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “I’m delighted to see this much-loved Robert Burns statue returned to its home in Leith – and spruced up thanks to specialist conservation work – just in time for Burns night.

“It’s fantastic that so many members of the community have been able to contribute to the new time capsule placed underneath the statue. Thanks to their input we’ll be able to share an insight into Leith today with future generations, just like our 19th century forebears did when they buried the original time capsule.”

Cllr Karen Doran, Transport and Environment Vice Convener, said: “What better way to celebrate Scotland’s national bard than the unveiling of this newly-restored statue?

“Its return also marks progress being made on the Trams to Newhaven project, as the area begins to take shape. I’m excited to see what the coming months will bring as ongoing improvements are delivered.

“In November the Trams to Newhaven project reached its two-year point and, despite challenges posed by the Covid pandemic, including a 13-week site shutdown, remains on track for opening for revenue service in Spring 2023.”

Conservator Nic Boyes opening the time capsule in 2019 PHOTO ©2019 The Edinburgh Reporter
Conservator Nic Boyes opening the time capsule in 2019 PHOTO ©2019 The Edinburgh Reporter