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Published on September 19th, 2011 | by JulieG

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A Beautiful Mystery

A strange and beautiful mystery is unfolding in Scotland. Intricate hand-carved paper sculptures made out of books are popping up in all kinds of places.

Each sculpture is left anonymously and is accompanied by a  hand-written noteaddressed to the organization’s Twitter name.

The first was found at the Poetry Library. The sculpture is of a tree and in front of it are two halves of gold egg filled with strips of paper that contain lines from the poem “A Trace of Wings” by Edwin Morgan.

It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree.… … We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.… This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. a gesture (poetic maybe?)

A second sculpture was left on a display case at the National Library of Scotland.

A third at the Filmhouse which was left on the box office counter.

The note with this one read:
For @filmhouse – a gift – In support of Libraries, Books, Words, Ideas; All things *magic*.

Others have turned up at Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Who is making these unbelievably gorgeous and intricate paper sculptures fashioned from books? And why leave them anonymously?

Want to read more about this mystery?  Read more about it in All Things Paper, The Guardian, BBC News or just search Google for “Scottish paper sculpture mystery” to find the latest news. There’s more updated images of new sculptures here.

Do you have a theory?  We’d like to hear about it!

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About the Author

is a marketing consultant and a mom. Her favourite question of the day is: What happened to the Furby?



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