The controversial Braveheart statue at the Wallace Monument in Stirling has been returned to sculptor Tom Church. The William Wallace statue has divided opinion equally between those who love it and those who hate it . Historians were outraged because of its remarkable resemblance to a certain actor Mel Gibson , star of the Braveheart film. That was taking historical inaccuracies to a whole new level. However tourists visiting the Monument loved having their picture taken beside it . The 13 foot statue was 12 tonnes and carved out of gold sandstone . A new visitor centre is being built where it stood in the car park at the foot of the Monument.Church said he had been inspired to create the statue, which took him five months to carve, after watching the 1997 film. Church said: “I know the purists didn’t think too much of it but the tourists absolutely loved it. I believe it’s rightful home is at the Wallace Monument. It was the ideal place for it. I think they were maybe a bit angry that some people just wanted their picture taken with the statue and didn’t bother going into the monument.”
So what has the Braveheart phenomenon done for Scotland ? I think it has had a great effect on tourism in Scotland. The film has encouraged lots of new visitors to come over here. Beyond that it has also played well with the SNP and supporters of Independence because it is just an epic , albeit inaccurate , film which appeals to the emotions of anyone who wants freedom for their own country . The picture of the statue featured here is available as a poster from Castle Pictures.