Paper sculptures appear around Edinburgh in support of museums and libraries

By Jenni Davidson | 08 December 2011 | Updated: 07 December 2011
A photograph of a paper Tyrannosaurus rex emerging from a book.
The National Museum of Scotland's Tyrannosuarus rex© National Museums Scotland
A mysterious Edinburgh paper artist has struck again - this time at the National Museum of Scotland.

On November 23, a tiny paper model of a Tyrannosaurus rex emerging from a book was left on the plinth of the giant stag skeleton, near the museum's own life-sized T-rex. The paper dinosaur is bursting forth from a copy of Arthur Conan Doyle's book The Lost World.

A note attached to the sculpture reads: "For @NtlMuseumsScot. A gift. Your friends at @edbookfest suggested you might like support of libraries, books, words, ideas and those places that house our treasures."

A photograph of a paper Tyrannosaurus rex emrging from a book.
The Tyrannosaurus rex emerges from the pages of The Lost World© National Museums Scotland
In the same week, further sculptures were found at the Writers' Museum and the Scottish Poetry Library. These appear to be the last in a series of ten paper sculptures that have has been appearing at museums and libraries in central Edinburgh over the last year.

The artist remains anonymous, but she has made it clear through the artworks and attached messages that she is concerned about cuts to funding for libraries and culture.

The first piece, a paper oak tree, was found at the Scottish Poetry Library in March addressed to @byleaveswelive, the Twitter address of the library. The message accompanying the sculpture reads:

"It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree...we know that a library is so much more than a building full of books...a book is so much more than a page full of words...This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas...a gesture (poetic maybe?)"

During the following months, other pieces turned up at the National Library of Scotland, Filmhouse cinema, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh International Book Festival, UNESCO Edinburgh City of Literature, Central Library, Writers' Museum and at the Scottish Poetry Library.

The sculptor seems to have a fondness for Ian Rankin and several of the works refer to his novels. The sculpture in the National Library is a coffin made from Ian Rankin's Exit Music and the tag makes clear that this refers to the perilous state of libraries and their possible "exit".

The sculptures in the Central Library, Scottish Poetry Library and Scottish Storytelling Centre are on display now and it is hoped the NMS dinosaur will be on public view soon.

More of the sculptures:

A photograph of The Lost World book with a tag attached.
Conan Doyle's The Lost World and the message to the National Museum of Scotland© National Museums Scotland
A photograph of a little paper dragon in a green egg in a nest of paper.
The tiny dragon in the Scottish Storytelling Centre© Jenni Davidson
A photograph of a paper magnifying glass sculpture in a library.
A magnifying glass for the Central Library© Jenni Davidson
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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