Glass eyes and new noses for restored animal sculptures in Cardiff Park

Restoration work to the famous animal wall in Cardiff's Bute Park has begun as part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project.

Cleaning and repair works will include replacing the anteater’s missing nose and giving new glass eyes to nine of the fifteen animal statues.

A section of wall adjacent to Cardiff Bridge will be lowered by half a metre to introduce views into the park and over the boat stage.

Graffiti cleaning will also take place and contemporary cement mortar will be cut out of the wall and replaced with a traditional lime mortar.

The work is part of the £5.6m Bute Park Restoration project, supported by HLF and Cadw, the Welsh Assembly Government’s historic environment services, and is due for completion in October.

Nine of the animal sculptures date back to the 1890s, with a further six commissioned in 1922.

The wall was designed by William Burgess in the early 1890s for the third Marquis of Bute and the early sculptures were carved by Thomas Nicholls.

Councillor Nigel Howells, Executive member for Sport, Leisure and Culture, said: "The historic Animal Wall is unique to Cardiff and attracts thousands of visitors and tourists to the city each year. I’m delighted that the project will allow the much loved landmark to be restored and I’m pleased that Cardiff Council is supported by both the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw on this scheme. This is just one of the many improvements to the park ongoing during the Bute Park Restoration Project."

Alun Ffred Jones, Minister for Heritage, said: "I am delighted to offer a grant of £63,000 towards repairing this famous Cardiff landmark. The project will ensure that both those living in our capital city and the thousands of tourists, we welcome every year will continue to enjoy this charming wall and its animal residents."

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