Golden Boy gets new gilt coat

It is a shining symbol of learning that has been the crowning glory of an iconic Scottish building for more than a century.

Photo showing the Golden Boy before and after his regilding

Now Golden Boy, the statue that tops the dome of Old College at the University of Edinburgh, has been given a new lease of life.

Fully restored

A re-gilding process that lasted several weeks has restored the lustre that had been lost as the elements took their toll over the years.

It is the first time in almost 30 years that the statue, which gazes out across the city holding the torch of knowledge, has been re-coated with gold leaf.


Discover more about the history of the Golden Boy, and what the restoration process involves.

Historic site

Old College is one of the most distinguished buildings in the Old Town of Edinburgh, which is recognised as a World Heritage Site.

Work on Old College was begun by the architect Robert Adam in 1789 and continued by WH Playfair after Adam's death.

A third architect, Robert Rowland Anderson, completed the dome and the sculptor John Hutchison created Golden Boy.

The 6ft high bronze figure, which is believed to be modelled on Edinburgh boxer Anthony Hall, was put in place in 1888.

Repair work

The dome has been encased in scaffolding so that stonework and lead fittings surrounding the statue can be repaired at the same time.

Regilding the Golden Boy was a massive project – the scaffolding alone was a major feat – but we’re proud to have restored this Edinburgh landmark to its former glory.

Graham McGrathPremises Manager, the University of Edinburgh

Golden Boy images courtesy of Neil Hanna.

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