South Scotland

Vandalised Dumfries and Galloway Gem Stone back home

Gem Stone - courtesy Forestry Commission
Image caption Added security has been installed around the Gem Stone which was attacked by vandals in May last year

A landmark sculpture which was attacked by vandals last year has been returned to a major walking and cycling attraction in southern Scotland.

The 1.75 tonne pink quartz Gem Stone was part of a series of works commissioned for the 7stanes route.

The large artwork was pushed off its base on the banks of Bruntis Loch in Kirroughtree Forest in May 2009.

Keith Muir of Forestry Commission Scotland said it had taken painstaking work to return the stone.

Each of the 7stanes centres across the south of Scotland has a large stone sculpture located in a prominent position.

A walker discovered the damaged Gem Stone last year.

Better access

Mr Muir said: "Everyone in the community was disappointed when the Gem Stane was vandalised last year but we have painstakingly had it repaired and it is now back in place with added security features.

"While it was being fixed by experts, we took the opportunity to also upgrade the walking paths in the immediate area and build a new timber bridge for walkers giving better access to see the Gem Stane.

"Our new bridge has been designed by our very own 7stanes trailbuilder Andy Hopkins to showcase the quality of art work and timber in the area."

The 7stanes mountain bike project consists of seven purpose-built mountain bike centres located right across the south of Scotland from the Borders to Galloway.

Kirroughtree is one of the key centres and also boasts a range of walking trails for all levels as well as popular visitor centre.

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