Bird paper sculptures appear at Book Festival

A delightful surprise descended on the Edinburgh International Book Festival yesterday, writes Elaine Downs.

[Picture: Chris Close photography]

_freetofly_ paper sculptures appeared ‘as if by magic’ at the Book Festival in Charlotte Square to delight and inspire book-lovers and festival goers.

The paper sculptures of incredible skill and beauty were of all sorts of birds, from blackbirds to a magnificent peacock, and are formed from “upcycling” old books and manuscripts. The sculptures have appeared throughout Edinburgh over the last few years, and, incredibly, the source is still unknown.

Each carry the inscription “in support of libraries, books, words, ideas; because literacy is freedom”, and each has a quotation from a great piece of literature, including one from @wrathofgod “When I enter into a book, I get involved in events and relationships I’d never discover outside, and that is liberating and glorious.”

There are few mysteries left in the world today, and even fewer that can capture the imagination and spread joy in such an unexpected way.

The birds have now been set free to fly throughout the city and beyond. One sculpture requests the owner to “take me a long way from here and set me free in a bookish place”. Attendees of the Book Festival don’t go short of inspiration and delight, but this weekend they had an extra gift in the form of a flight of the bookish birds.