Here’s fresh proof of the veneration and wonder that books and libraries can inspire—especially in a literature-biased country like Scotland, whose national day commemorates a poet. The mysterious artist who has been crafting beautiful paper sculptures from printed pages, most recently with a nest and egg theme, and leaving them anonymously at libraries, cultural events and literary locations across Scotland, has now delivered a fresh one to Leith Library.

The label on the box the Leith sculpture came in said: “Libraries are special places.”

The mystery sculptor has been at work since March 2011, when the first sculpture, a tree, was left at the Scottish Poetry Library addressed to its Twitter account, @ByLeavesWeLive. Other lucky institutions include the Scottish Story Telling Centre, The National Museums of Scotland, and the Edinburgh Bookshop.

She is a sculptress: That is all that is known about her. She has even done work to commission for Book Week Scotland, via an anonymous email account, hiding sculptures at literary sites across Scotland, from the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum to a pub on the remote Hebridean Eriskay location of Compton MacKenzie’s Whisky Galore, for enthusiasts to find. The whole mystery has earned its own Wikipedia page.

“We’re a community library so we’re proud to have chosen by the artist,” said the Leith Library blog. “Our sculpture seems to be a gift in support of what we’ve been doing to promote reading via social media and through the Scottish Book Trust Residency.”

Obviously it’s going to be a while before anyone crafts used Kindles into commemorative objects of great beauty. But the way Twitter accounts have been woven into the whole saga shows that the sculptress is no technophobe. And the love of books shines through.


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