The Loch Ness Monster is ready and waiting to welcome 6,500 athletes and officials to the place they’ll call home during the Commonwealth Games.
The imposing sculpture – which now has pride of place outdoors in the heart of the Athletes’ Village – was commissioned by Glasgow 2014 and crafted by Speyside sculptor Stuart Murdoch.
And the monster, who will greet athletes from 71 different nations and territories, is every inch as Scottish as the legend of ‘Nessie’ itself. Stuart has used Caithness Stone; Scots Elm; grey stone from the North-east of Scotland and Clashach Sandstone from Moray to create the 3metre high and 9metre long sculpture.
The work of art, which incorporates a bench, is intended to create a centerpiece for the Village in Dalmarnock.
Sculptor Stuart Murdoch said “I was honoured to be asked to work with Glasgow 2014 and to produce this sculpture. The Loch Ness Monster is recognised globally as an icon of this country and in this work I wanted to represent the nation’s mythology, creativity, ancient history, as well as to highlight the grit and determination shown by all the Commonwealth athletes.
“It is a beast that has inspired our people since before the first written word. I hope it inspires all the athletes in the village.”
Although known across the globe as the Loch Ness Monster, the creature is also known locally by its Gaelic name “Each Uisge” or “water horse”. Stuart has inscribed this name on parts of the sculpture in “Ogham Script”, the ‘alphabet’ of the Pictish people.
Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive, David Grevemberg, said “The Loch Ness Monster is such a well-known Scottish legend and this striking sculpture will be part of a warm Scottish welcome for the athletes. It not only reflects part of Scotland’s heritage but also showcases to an international audience some of the best of the country’s natural materials.”
Glasgow 2014 Head of Village Operations, Tony Sainsbury, said: “The monster sculpture is a fantastic addition to the Village representing as it does Scottish folklore. Nessie follows in the tradition of sculptures in recent Athletes’ Villages and it is sure to become the photo, selfie and upload hit of our Village.”
The Athletes’ Village is right on the doorstep of Celtic Park, the venue for the Opening Ceremony of the Games, and alongside the new Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
It covers the same area as London 2012 (approximately 35 hectares), but with 700 lower rise homes in a mixture of styles from detached to semi-detached, terraced and two seven-storey apartment blocks.
It also features a temporary 2,000-seat, 24-hour dining hall and gym, a medical facility, a retail zone and a recreational space.