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Braveheart statue unveiled in Scotland branded ‘worst since Ronaldo’

Brechin City FC’s monument to William Wallace ridiculed on social media

Joe Sommerlad
Monday 06 September 2021 18:37 BST
(Rudolph Botha/CC BY-SA 3.0 (edited)/Getty)
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A statue unveiled outside Brechin City Football Club’s stadium in Scotland has been criticised on social media, with many comparing it to the infamously awful bust of Cristiano Ronaldo at Madeira Airport.

The monument depicts the great Scottish hero William Wallace and is based on Mel Gibson’s performance as the warrior in the 1996 Hollywood blockbuster Braveheart, which the Australian also directed.

It was first built by sculptor Tommy Church in the year of the film’s release and originally leased to Stirling Council for installation at the National Wallace Monument, which stands on the shoulder of the Abbey Craig.

“The sun and crowds came out for a fantastic day to honour the craftsmanship of Brechiner Tommy Church and it was brilliant to see the community of all ages turn out in numbers to support the event,” the club wrote in a press release promoting Sunday’s unveiling.

Brechin, which plays its football in the fifth-tier Highlands League, had hoped to celebrate the 13th century knight who fought the English during the First War of Scottish Independence but, instead, many became preoccupied by the tribute’s similarity to the famously wonky Ronaldo monument.

Others relished the details, like Wallace opening his mouth wide to bellow “Freedom!” in the manner of Britain’s Got Talent winner Susan Boyle or as though he were in agony having just stepped on a Lego brick.

The beheaded foe at his feet was also thought by several commentator’s to resemble Spinal Tap’s moustachioed bass player Derek Smalls in the celebrated comedy This is Spinal Tap (1984).

The work was further ridiculed by being compared to Spanish pensioner Cecilia Gimenez’s notoriously botched attempt to restore a faded fresco of Jesus Christ at the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Zaragoza in August 2012.

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