Geek Trivia

The City Of Glasgow Spends $13,000 A Year Keeping What Off Their Most Famous Statue?

Traffic Cones
The Screen Of Space Invaders Was Colored By What?
The statue of Duke Wellington with a cone upon his head.

Answer: Traffic Cones

Outside of the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland, there is a towering equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington. Erected in 1844, the statue has become one of the more iconic landmarks in the city, but not necessarily because Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington, is a figure that is well-known to modern viewers.

Instead, the notoriety of the statue stems from a local custom that dates back at least to the early 1980s—capping the Duke with a traffic cone. No one knows exactly when (or why) the practice started, but for nearly forty years, it has been a long-running local prank to find a nearby traffic cone, scramble up the imposing statue, and place a cone upon the Duke’s head.

In 2013, the city council proposed doubling the height of the plinth the statue rests on as part of a restoration project in a bid to keep down maintenance costs since it costs roughly $13,000 a year to send workers out to carefully de-crown the Duke. Widespread public opposition terminated plans to change the plinth as the citizens of Glasgow had grown quite fond of the practice and considered it a reflection of their humorous ways.