Oor Wullie is aff on a braw adventure across Scotland to show he truly is a’body’s Wullie.
The comic character’s bucket trail, which raised £900,000 in Dundee two years ago for the ARCHIE Foundation, will take to the streets of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee next summer.
The major public art event, which will boast almost three times as many Wullie statues in prime locations across the cities, was launched on Thursday night by the First Minister.
Artists from across the country will be invited to design the 150 human-sized sculptures to reflect Scotland’s cultural identity and every school will be invited to decorate its own wee Oor Wullie.
At the launch in the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, proud Oor Wullie fan Nicola Sturgeon said it was wonderful that bucket trail was going Scotland-wide.
She said: “The Dundee trail was a massive success so to extend it right across the country is brilliant.
“It’s going to raise lots of money for fantastic causes and everybody loves Oor Wullie.
“People seeing the statues when they arrive is going to be really exciting for all generations.”
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Supported by Oor Wullie custodians, DC Thomson Media, the trail will raise money for and awareness of Scotland’s three hospital charities.
Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, the ARCHIE Foundation and Glasgow Children’s Hospital have joined forces with international arts event company Wild in Art for the world’s first nationwide art trail.
For 11 weeks from June to September 2019, people will be able to follow the trail of unique artworks through the five cities which will each host associated events and an auction of the statues at the conclusion.
They will be able to use a dynamic app and trail map, and local businesses and organisations will be invited to sponsor the Oor Wullies.
Ellis Watson, chief executive officer of DC Thomson Media, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be involved in this amazing project, bringing hundreds of Oor Wullies to the streets and raising bucket loads of cash for Scotland’s children’s hospitals.
“All of the partners involved are working incredibly hard to make this first ever nationwide trail something that everyone in Scotland can be proud of, and importantly, get involved in.”
The hospital charities work in partnership with the NHS to provide care for 500,000 babies, children and young people each year by raising money for equipment, family support services, research, training and play and recreation spaces.
David Wood, of the ARCHIE Foundation, said: “Each charity is different, but we all share a common aim of making the experience of being in hospital as positive as it can be for local children.
“The BIG Bucket Trail is such an exciting way to bring together people all over Scotland, not only to support the charities, but also to get out and enjoy one of the biggest art trails of its kind.
“ARCHIE is very proud to be part of it.”