Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Appeal over Edinburgh's mystery gas office bust

Bust
Image caption Scotland Gas Networks has had the mystery sculpture since the 1970s

The identity of a mysterious bust that has mystified gas workers in Edinburgh for nearly 40 years is being sought.

The anonymous sculpture has been in the care of Scotland Gas Networks since the 1970s but staff have always been baffled as to who the man actually is.

Staff had thought it might be William Murdoch, the inventor of gas lighting in 1792.

However, pictures of the late Murdoch fail to show any resemblance to the bust.

Now bosses are calling on the public to identify the sculpture.

The bust was at Inchcolm House for years before Scotland Gas Networks moved to new premises at Axis House, Newbridge last year.

A visitor to the office also suggested that the head might be of James Clerk Maxwell who was a famous Scottish physicist and mathematician.

However, the company approached the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation who confirmed it was not Maxwell.

The only clue is the words on the sculpture, which read: "J.A. Ewing FCT Glasgow 1882".

Investigations reveal that Ewing, born in 1828, is a famous Scottish sculptor.

He was the artist who crafted the figure of Robert Burns in Glasgow's George Square.

The gas company approached the City Art Gallery and Edinburgh City Council Museum Collections Centre, but nobody could solve the unusual mystery.

John McIntosh, Scotland Gas Networks commercial director, said: "The sculpture was in our old office cheerily greeting visitors for years, we just presumed it was a famous figure in the gas industry but now we are not so sure.

"When we moved offices he came with us but we still don't know who he really is.

"We are appealing to the public to come forward if they have any information about the mystery imposter.

"He is obviously someone very important and we want to give him his rightful place and decide where he should live."

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