The World's Strangest Monuments
Duke of Wellington Statue, Glasgow
What It Commemorates: Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and
commander of the British forces that defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.
What Makes It Strange: For the past 20 years, this innocuous statue—erected in 1844 on
Glasgow’s Queen Street—has been a magnet for late-night pranksters, who scale the
statue and top it with traffic cones. Locals argue that the cones are an integral part of the
statue, as well as the city’s identity. The government doesn’t agree. City workers
knock off the cones with a high-powered water jet, and police have threatened to prosecute the
pranksters. But since the public has ignored these warnings, anyone caught putting cones on the
Duke is simply told to move on.