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Man proposes in Edinburgh gallery by changing painting to ‘their love story’

A man found an inventive way to propose to his girlfriend by replacing the blurb on a famous art gallery painting with a heartfelt message.

Jos Cava, 39, arranged the special day by contacting gallery staff to ask for their help with the romantic proposal.

He told girlfriend Sophia Harrison, 40, to get glammed up before the trip to the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, Daily Record reports.

Jos, from Leith, took her towards the painting ‘An Old Woman Cooking Eggs’ (1618) by Diego Velázquez, where she spotted the improvised plaque.

When Sophia leaned closer to read it, she realised it told the story of their own romance.

Moments after José Cava proposed to girlfriend Sophia Harrison

Sophia said: “When I got to the Velazquez painting in the gallery I noticed the label was a bit different from the others and my eye was drawn to it.

“I started reading and it took me a few seconds to realise exactly what I was reading.

“What made it extra special was that the staff in the gallery were in on it but hadn’t given anything away.

“I turned round to look at Jose and he dropped to one knee and pulled out an emerald engagement ring.

“I was delighted.”

The couple, who met on Tinder three years ago, share a love of visiting galleries.

Jos’ revised plaque for the painting, which was illustrated with wedding bells and a heart, read: “The Old Woman Frying Eggs has been Jos Cava’s favourite painting since he was little.

José Cava and girlfriend Sophia Harrison
The couple share a love of visiting galleries

“It reminded him of those summer nights, seated outside surrounded by his family.

“And although he was far from home for nearly 15 years, he used to come to the Scottish National Gallery, look at the painting and remember those moments.

“He finally found a partner in Sophia Victoria Harrison.

“She was a young, successful professional, always elegant and beautifully dressed, with a rich personality, sweet and funny.

“And together they run the most amazing adventures in the heart of this beautiful country – Scotland: where they would like to start a family.

“And on 19th June 2021, he finally proposed matrimony to her, in this very place.

“And she said…”

The improvised plaque on the painting 'An Old Woman Cooking Eggs' (1618) by Diego Velázquez
The improvised plaque on the painting ‘An Old Woman Cooking Eggs’ (1618) by Diego Velázquez

When Sophia accepted the proposal onlookers began clapping.

Jos, who works as a technician at an architecture firm, said: “We met three years ago on Tinder and it was getting to the point where things were getting serious and we were talking about the future.

“The next step was to get married and I wanted to make it something special.

“Sophia and me like to go to the gallery and that particular painting reminds me of home and the people I love and care about.”

He contacted gallery staff and asked for their help in making the proposal special by replacing the plaque. Everything had been arranged and Amy Patterson, the duty manager, who put the note in place sent Jos photos of it the day before.

Jos added: “I was delighted with her help and want to thank her so much.”

The couple now plan to marry next September.



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