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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 November 2006, 18:17 GMT
Union anniversary to be marked
Patricia Ferguson - pic by Allan Milligan
The minister with a parchment copy of the Articles of Union
Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson has unveiled plans to mark the 300th anniversary of the 1707 Act of Union.

The minister said the anniversary was a significant event in Scotland's history and it had benefited the country.

Events during the commemoration will include an exhibition of objects and documents related to the Union.

Scottish National Party MSP Stewart Maxwell said the Union is "past its sell by date" and celebrations would not change that.

Primary and secondary pupils will take part in a project to be led by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

The National Galleries of Scotland will hold an exhibition of portraits of people associated with the Union.

'Stimulate debate'

Ms Ferguson said: "The Union of the Parliaments was a pivotal moment in Scottish history, which has left an indelible mark on our country.

"It is important that this anniversary is recognised and commemorated by the executive and its national institutions. The events announced today offer something for everyone.

"I hope the programme of events inform and stimulate debate about the legacy left by the Act of Union 1707."

Mr Maxwell said: "I wish the Labour and Lib Dem government the best of luck in its Act of Union celebrations as it seems every time this government talks about the Union, support for the SNP and Independence increases.

"The people of Scotland won't be fooled - a few half-baked parties about a Union that is past its sell by date won't change the growing tide of support for Scottish Independence."

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