DUNBAR’S long-awaited giant bear sculpture, created by Kelpies artist Andy Scott, is now in place.

The renowned Scottish artist created the sculpture in tribute to Dunbar-born John Muir, who went on to play a key role in the formation of the US national park system.

The 16ft sculpture is now sited off the A1, near to Dunbar’s McDonald’s and Asda.

East Lothian Courier:

Children from Dunbar Primary School were invited to bring their own bears along to the unveiling of the sculpture today (Tuesday) by Brenda McNeill from Hallhill Developments.

The developer has been involved in the construction of more than 500 houses in the south of the town and the statue has been created through the Percent for Art Scheme, which is a condition of planning consent.

The brown bear is symbolic of Muir’s travels through the far-off wilderness of America’s west, in the Rockies and Alaska.

Like Muir, the bear has travelled from Scotland to America. After Mr Scott was commissioned to create the bear, he moved to the US with his wife and the bear travelled over with him.

It was brought back to Scotland from his workshop in Philadelphia and was lifted by crane to its spot by the A1 yesterday morning (Monday).

Mr Scott told the Courier: “I’m delighted and relieved that the bear has made it to Dunbar, this was quite a long project coming together and getting it all to happen.

“Between being commissioned and starting the project, my wife and I moved to America so I had to take it over there to build it, so he’s been around the world and it’s quite fitting, especially with the legacy of John Muir.

“Everybody is really happy with him and I hope he becomes a great success for the town.”