July 5 2008

THE WORLD’S first public monument to Kirkcaldy-born economist Adam Smith was unveiled in Edinburgh yesterday.

The Adam Smith Institute was behind the project to erect the statue to the great Scottish economist, philosopher, and author of The Wealth of Nations.

The monument, which takes the form of a 10-foot bronze statue on a massive stone plinth, lies in the shadow of St Giles Cathedral on Edinburgh’s High Street, right in the heart of the capital city where Smith worked and died in 1790.

The spot chosen for the new monument, created by Paisley sculptor Sandy Stoddart, is seen as appropriate to Smith’s life and work.

Not only is it within view of the recent statue of Smith’s friend David Hume but it also looks downhill to the Canongate, where Smith lived and is buried.

It also looks out towards the harbour of Leith, with its connotations of trade and commerce, and over the Forth to Fife, where Smith was born in 1723.

Dr Eamonn Butler, director of the Adam Smith Institute, said, “This honour is long overdue.

“As author of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith was the pioneer of what today we call economics.

“He championed the benefits of specialisation and free trade, creating the very idea of the modern market economy that dominates the free world today.”

Unveiling the statue, Nobel Laureate economist Vernon Smith added it was also an appropriate date, American Independence Day, as it was a day of tradition and of ideas.

And this year is also the eve of the 150th anniversary year of the publication of Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

 

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