The tall handsome guy made of clay is Adam Smith. The great Scot is being honoured with a statue placed across Edinburgh’s City Chambers. The unveiling was on July 4th by one Smith, first name Vernon, Nobel Laureate and apparently one of the private donors that paid for the monument.
Adam is not the first economist to be cast in stone or bronze on public display. If you figure Marx as an economist then there are plenty of those to go around. Other philosopher-economists also shyly populate London. Adam has been made as monument at the South Western University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. So as history goes, this is remarkable as the first PUBLIC statue of ADAM SMITH.
I find it somewhat more peculiar that the statue comes soon after the Adam Smith twenty pound bill. It may be an outcome of political devolution, and less likely of Gordon Brown, that Smith is raised to the status of Scotland’s heritage away from the myths of bearded troglodytes wearing kilts. On the myths of scottish identity check the magnificient The Invention of Tradition.