Photos: 'Kelpies' horse sculptures completed in Scotland

Photos: 'Kelpies' horse sculptures completed in Scotland

Credit: facebook.com/TheKelpiesatTheHelix

Photos: 'Kelpies' horse sculptures completed in Scotland

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by SUSAN WYATT / KING 5 News

WHAS11.com

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 3:24 PM

The Kelpies, the world's largest pair of equine sculptures and one of the UKs tallest pieces, has been completed in Scotland.

The stunning sculptures rise 100 feet from the ground to tower over the new Helix Parkland, which officially opens next year.

The Kelpies, modeled after Clydesdales Duke & Baron, pay homage to the tradition of the working horses of Scotland, which used to pull barges along Scotland's canals and worked in the fields in the area where the Kelpies now stand.

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Duke and Baron are 1:16 scale to their steel counterpart.

The work by Glasgow-based artist Andy Scott has been seven years in the making.

More than 600 tons of structural steel was used in the construction process and more than 10,000 special fixings were used to secure the 'skin' of the two horses heads (one looking up and one looking down) to the steel framework.

Each Kelpie weighs 300 tons and contains 9,842 feet of steel tubing and 17,000 component parts.   The steel was fabricated in Yorkshire and transported to Falkirk, where the structures were painstakingly pieced together using sophisticated 3D modeling software.

Dramatically changing the landscape around Falkirk, The Kelpies and the new canal link into the Forth & Clyde Canal are expected to open up the inland waterways to more and bigger vessels and lead to an increase in boating traffic throughout Central Scotland.

"I see The Kelpies as a personification of local and national equine history, of the lost industries of Scotland," said Scott. "I also envisage them as a symbol of modern Scotland - proud and majestic, of the people and the land.  They are the culmination of cutting edge technology and hand crafted artisanship, created by our country's leading experts through international partnerships."

The Helix is expected to attract an additional 350,000 visitors and add nearly $2 million in annual tourism to the area.

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