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Located in Civic Centre 17-February-2012 (Graeme Saunders)
Located in Civic Centre 17-February-2012 (Graeme Saunders)

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders

The statue commemorates Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759 - 1796). It portrays Robert Burns with his dog, and is the only one to have been based exclusively on the earliest known portrait of Burns, painted from life, by artist Peter Taylor around 1786.  It was donated to Camperdown by W. A. Taylor of "Denny Hill" and is the oldest sculpture of Robert Burns in the world.

The statue, commissioned in 1830, was displayed in London in 1859 by William Taylor at the Crystal Palace Exhibition and was inherited by his son, William Andrew Taylor, a settler in the Western District of Victoria.  He gifted the statue to Camperdown in 1883 and it was erected in the Botanic Gardens.  William Taylor's property, located on the outskirts of Camperdown, is named Rennyhill, after his mother's birthplace at Kilrenny, Fife, Scotland. 

In June 2009, the statue was attacked by vandals chipping the stone hat and breaking the legs of Burns' dog, Luath. The statue was restored and in January 2012, moved indoors to the Camperdown Civic Centre from its original location in the Botanic Gardens to safeguard it from further vandalism.

On the 26th June 2015, a plaque commissioned by the Scottish Government was unveiled during the Robert Burns Festival and bears the inscription ‘A Scottish poet, a Scottish painter, a Scottish sculptor, a Scottish settler, a Camperdown story, A World Heritage Treasure’ followed by a brief history of the statue.

The statue of the great Scotch poet, Robert Burns, now occupies a prominent position in the Park on the pedestal which has been erected for its reception under the supervision of Mr. Hamilton, architect, of Colac. The statue is now seen to advantage, and has a most imposing appearance. The following inscription is to be placed in suitable characters on the base of the statue - "Burns—from an original painting by his friend Peter Taylor, Edinburgh, 1876, by John Greenshields, sculptor, Edinburgh, 1830. Presented to the Public Park by W. A. Taylor, Esq., J.P., Renny Hill, Camperdown, 1883.
Camperdown Chronicle (Vic), 22 December 1883. 

Note: - An information plaque is located near the site of the original statue in the Botanic Gardens. The pedestal on which the statue stood still remains. 



Address:181 Manifold Street, Camperdown Civic Centre, Camperdown, 3260
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.232446
Long: 143.146289
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Artist:John Greenshields (Edinburgh, Scotland)


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1883
Front Inscription

Original Inscription: 
From An Original Painting, By His Friend,
Peter Taylor, Edinburgh, 1786.
By John Greenshields, Sculptor, Edinburgh, 1830.
  Presented To The Public Park
    W.A. Taylor, Esq. J.P.
Rennyhill, Camperdown, 1883

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