Prospective buyers for the north-east’s artistic Oor Wullie sculptures have been treated to a sneak preview.
The brightly coloured statues of the DC Thomson cartoon character are going under the hammer to benefit charity the Archie Foundation, which works in partnership with the NHS to provide care to sick children in the north-east.
Thousands of people took to the streets to see the painted characters and take pictures with them, checking them off on their Big Bucket Trail map.
The sculptures are currently in the Marischal College quad, where they will be for this weekend’s farewell event from Friday to Sunday.
Yesterday evening’s VIP viewing allowed prospective buyers to cast an eye over the sculptures ahead of Tuesday’s auction.
It was a chance for them to note interest, especially if they plan to buy remotely or online.
One couple, who asked to remain anonymous, said that they were hoping to buy on Tuesday, and although they were still deciding which they would like to bid for, liked Oor Pete and Oor Granite.
They said: “I just saw Oor Pete in Inverurie and liked it. We’ve recently extended our garden so it would go in there quite nicely.
“They’re all amazing, all by really talented artists.”
Also looking were Craig and Jane Thomson, who own the Oor Wullie’s Braw Fish and Chip Shop, where Tartan Wullie Returns by artist Sandra Webster is based.
They said they were keen to buy one but hadn’t made a decision which.
They said: “It’s amazing to see them all together.
“It’s all for a great cause, hopefully they go for a lot.”
The auction event for the north-east figures is to take place at Thainstone, and will be headed up by Inverurie-based ANM Group and its auctioneers Alan Hutcheon, Mark Barrack, Alan Donald and Colin Slessor – who appear on the BBC’s The Mart. It will take place from 6.30-9.30pm on Tuesday.
A limited number of tickets have been released for the general public to allow them to come along and watch the sculptures being auctioned off to their new homes, or place a bid on one.
As well as the statues from Aberdeen and Inverurie, the Highland ones, on display in Inverness, will also be auctioned off with the north-east group.
All money raised from the north-east Wullies will support the Archie Foundation in the Grampian area.
Tickets can be purchased at bit.ly/OWBBTAuction
Some of the artists of the sculptures were also in attendance at last night’s event.
Clare Terris, who designed Oor Shire, Your Shire, Aberdeenshire, which was in Inverurie, said: “I would love it to stay in Aberdeenshire.
“My studio is based in Newburgh and it’s based in the outdoors.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen them together. It took a lot longer to paint than I thought. He didn’t fit through the door of my studio! I was upside down with my paintbrush.”
David Wood, ARCHIE Foundation CEO, said: “The NHS provides exceptional care and the ARCHIE Foundation is proud to complement this with advanced staff training and equipment, family accommodation, child-friendly spaces, books, toys and more.
“But of course none of this would be possible without our sponsors and the tremendous support of the public.”