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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 March, 2005, 13:11 GMT
City is 'cursed' by ancient stone
Cursing stone
The stone is inscribed with a 16th Century curse
A stone commissioned to mark the millennium may be destroyed after being blamed for bringing misfortunes of "biblical proportions" to a city.

Since the Cursing Stone was placed in Carlisle, the city has suffered floods, foot-and-mouth disease, job losses and a goal famine for the football team.

The 14-tonne granite artwork is carved with a 1,069-word 16th Century curse.

Now city councillor Jim Tootle wants the stone destroyed and has tabled a motion to discuss it on 8 March.

The stone, which stands between the castle and the museum, is inscribed with a curse first invoked by the Archbishop of Glasgow in 1525 against cross border families, known as the "reivers", who lived by stealing cattle, rape and pillage.

Blessing included

It was designed by artist Gordon Young whose own family was one of the "reivers".

Mr Tootle said: "Various Christian groups have approached me, and they opposed it at the time and there was a petition saying, please don't bring the stone here and put the curse back on us.

"We have had floods, pestilence, a great big fire in the city - it is of biblical proportions."

Council leader Mike Mitchelson said: "We're obliged to address his comments, but estimate that it will cost the council several thousands of pounds to remove the stone.

"The council will need to look at whether the removal of the stone is a financial priority for the local area."

The city council also said local Christian groups, including the Bishop of Carlisle, were consulted and were in agreement with the Cursing Stone and a blessing was included within the artwork.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
One councillor on why he thinks the stone should go



SEE ALSO:
Call for foot and mouth research
22 Apr 04 |  Cumbria
Carlisle woos tour operators
17 Nov 02 |  England


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