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Burns Monument Restored to its Former Glory

posted 6 Sep 2009, 14:44 by myEdinburgh Admin
Burns enthusiasts from all over the world are preparing to take part in a ceremony of re-dedication for the newly restored Burns Monument on Regent Road.

The ceremony on Sunday (6 September 2009) will celebrate the painstaking restoration of the impressive neo-Greek temple, which has been restored by the City of Edinburgh Council in partnership with Edinburgh World Heritage as part of the Twelve Monuments project.

A fundraising appeal was launched for the restoration of monuments on Calton Hill in 2008, attracting donations from private individuals, business and charitable trusts topping £200,000. Although repairs had been carried out in the past, the monument's exposed position meant that a comprehensive £300,000 restoration programme was needed, including the replacement of some of the ornate stone carvings and the removal of asphalt from the roof.

Culture Minister Michael Russell said: "We have had an incredible Year of Homecoming celebrating Scotland's culture, with Burns at the forefront of these events. The work to repair this monument is another success story in the partnership between Edinburgh World Heritage, Historic Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council to promote the exceptional history and craftsmanship we have here in our unique capital city."

Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture Convenor for the City of Edinburgh, said: "Robert Burns' body of work is of enormous significance to our nation and I am delighted that the excellent partnership working between the Council and Edinburgh World Heritage in the Twelve Monuments project has helped restore this stunning tribute to his legacy."

David McDonald, Project Manager for Edinburgh World Heritage, said: "The restoration of the Burns Monument has been a real achievement for the Twelve Monuments project, as it represents one of the buildings that gave Edinburgh its famous title of 'Athens of the North'. Its intricate neo-Greek temple design presented a challenge, but the quality of the workmanship in repairing and replacing its detailed stone carving is first-class. From the monument itself there is also a fantastic view of the city, which surely makes it a perfect venue for future public events."

Jim Shields, Secretary of the Edinburgh & District Burns Clubs Association and Marketing Director of the Robert Burns World Federation, said: "The Robert Burns World Federation are thrilled to be holding this ceremony of re-dedication in conjunction with the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh World Heritage. Taking place at the same time as the Federation's international conference in Edinburgh, it will allow fellow Burnsians from all over the world see the wonderful work carried out on this unique monument, under the watchful eye of Edinburgh World Heritage."

The foundation stone of the Burns Monument was laid in 1831. It was designed by Thomas Hamilton, who was also responsible for the Royal High School just across the road. He designed a circular Neo-Greek temple, adding to Edinburgh's growing reputation in the 1800s as the 'Athens of the North'.