Murdo Fraser expresses delight at Stone of Destiny returning to 'spiritual home'
Murdo Fraser MSP has expressed his delight that Stone of Destiny will be returning to its “spiritual home” of Perth, where it will form the centrepiece of a new visual arts museum.
The politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, was reacting to the historic announcement made by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in response to a written question on the matter at Holyrood.
The First Minister, in her role as one of the Commissioners of the Regalia, has confirmed that the Stone of Destiny will be returning to Perth, after Her Majesty the Queen accepted the recommendation from the Commissioners.
The Stone should be relocated to Perth once the City Hall refurbishment has been completed, with the opening currently planned for early 2024.
Commenting, Mr Fraser said: “This is fantastic news, not only for Perth but for the whole of Perth and Kinross – a real boost in dark times. I have been one of the campaigners calling on the return of the Stone of Destiny to its spiritual home in Perth, and to be told that it will be is one of the highlights of 2020 – a truly historic occasion.
“Many people, myself included, felt the Stone of Destiny should come home to Perth, due to its historic connections to the area.”
He continued: “The creation of a visual arts museum in the former Perth City Hall is an ambitious, exciting project that promises to attract thousands of visitors to the city once we get back to some form of normality. To be told that the Commissioners and Her Majesty the Queen have agreed that the Stone of Destiny can come back to Perth in order to form the centrepiece of the museum is the icing on the cake.
“The Commissioners were satisfied that the proposals for Perth City Hall gave full and proper regard to the need to ensure the security and conservation of the Stone, its accessibility to the general public and that it would be displayed in a manner in keeping with such an important cultural artefact.
“The Commissioners also concluded that there would be considerable merit in relocating the Stone to assist with the ongoing regeneration of Perth.”
And Liz Smith MSP, who also represents Mid Scotland and Fife added: “The Stone of Destiny has historic links to Perth and to the surrounding area – Perth is its spiritual home. The decision by the Commissioners to allow the return of the Stone of Destiny to Perth has been agreed by The Queen and this is truly a historic day.
“Having the Stone feature as the main centrepiece of the new visual arts museum in the former Perth City Hall building will provide a massive boost to local businesses and set a positive mood for the future of the city – it should be a turning point in the economic recovery of the area.”
Officials in the Scottish Government will work with Perth and Kinross Council to ensure that plans are in place for the transfer of the Stone to Perth when the planned works are completed. Plans will also be in place to ensure that the Stone can be returned safely and timeously to Westminster Abbey for future Coronations.