Alexander McCall Smith unveiled a public art wall bearing his words

‘This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.’

The art wall installation at Atria Edinburgh was a key feature of the building’s design at its inception, to celebrate Edinburgh’s strong literary heritage and status as the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature. Designed to provide a piece of public art for the city, these thought-provoking words enhance a newly created public space in The Exchange, Edinburgh’s central business district, in a new public thoroughfare named Ladyfield.

The new walkway, which will only be open to pedestrians, connects Morrison Street with Conference Square, and runs between the two office developments Atria One and Two. Alexander McCall Smith commented: ‘I was delighted and honoured to be asked by the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust if my words could be used on this very prominent wall in the heart of the city.

If your words are to be set in stone, then you have to be careful what you say! You have to mean it. And I do mean what I say about this magnificent city, of which I am proud to be a citizen and which will always be my home.’ Ali Bowden, director of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, says: ‘Edinburgh’s City of Literature status is for everyone, and we want the words of our authors to be visible on the streets. We’re delighted to have been involved with choosing this quote and it was a real thrill to see it unveiled today.’

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