Fingertip search for Hawick police after statue damaged

Hawick's James Wilson statue.
Hawick's James Wilson statue.

A statue of the Hawick-born founder of the Economist magazine has been damaged just months after arriving back in his home town.

The tribute was a gift to the town from the London-based Economist Group after it moved office earlier this year.

The 12ft high statue of James Wilson, only at Tower Knowe since August, is now missing two fingertips from its right hand, however.

It is not known if the damage was accidental or caused by vandals, but police are investigating.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Watson McAteer said: “I was alerted to this last week.

“Two fingertips of the right hand are missing. There is some evidence of an earlier repair, so at this stage, besides the fact that the fingertips are not to be seen anywhere nearby, it is difficult to say if the statue has been subjected to vandalism.

“I have however contacted Police Scotland, and I am aware that they are investigating to determine if a crime has been committed.

“I have not received an update but will be asking.

“I have also appealed for anyone with information to contact the police.

“This will also be raised at a future Hawick common good fund meeting to determine what, if any, repairs can be completed.

The marble statue of Mr Wilson, alive from 1805 to 1860, was created by Edinburgh-based sculptor John Steell in 1865.