Famous quotes of Scottish greats etched on the side of Holyrood no longer readable

UNVEILED with much fanfare at the £414 million grand opening, quotes etched in stone on the side of Holyrood were hailed as a celebration of Scotland’s cultural legacy.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 12:45 pm

The famous musings of greats including Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and later Mary Brooksbank took pride of place on Canongate Wall.

But now as the home of the Scottish Government celebrates its 15th anniversary, some of the 26 works appear barely legible and a little the worse for wear.

Lib Dem Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Holyrood is rightly a staple fixture on any tourist trail itinerary and it’s a building us MSPs are very proud of.

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A Hugh MacDiarmid quote at Holyrood

“And it’s a building that Edinburgh residents, despite its horrendous cost, have come to love.

“At the heart of it is recognition of our rich heritage and history that can be found in these stones.”

Written into rocks from across Scotland and chosen by the public, they include lines from Burns’ poem A Man's A Man for A' That - one of those to appear in need of a touch-up.

Parliament officials stressed conservation work is imminent and will be balanced with what is “acceptable and desirable” in terms of the natural aging of the different geological stone.

Robert Burns (1759-1796) "A Man's A Man for A' That"

And they said in-house staff carry out regular checks and protection of the wall throughout the year.

This includes maintaining an anti-vandalism coating on the stone and general cleaning of the wall.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: “While the different stone types in the wall will age and weather at different rates, we asked a conservation expert to carry out an initial inspection in September and to return later in the year for a full conservation survey.

“The outcome from that will help inform our long-term preservation of the Canongate wall.”