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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 March, 2005, 21:15 GMT 22:15 UK
Wallace sword on way to Big Apple
William Wallace's sword
The sword is being shipped out to New York for Tartan Day
One of Scotland's national treasures, William Wallace's sword, is leaving Scottish soil for the first time in 700 years and head for New York.

The sword is being shipped out to the Big Apple as part of the city's Tartan Week celebrations in April.

Stirling Council gave permission for the 5ft 4ins blade to travel earlier this month and will help pay towards its 1,400 journey across the Atlantic.

It will be used to showcase Stirling's attractions in the US.

The sword was passed fit to travel by the National Museum of Scotland. It has been carefully removed from its display case in the National Wallace Monument and packed by experts to prevent any damage.

Plans for it to be held aloft and brandished during New York's Tartan Day parade on 2 April have been abandoned.

Instead, the sword will be put on display in the New York's famous Grand Central Station.

It will be put under 24-hour security and is scheduled to be back home on display in Scotland by 11 April.

It's a great opportunity to promote tourism and economic development of our city and an ideal opportunity to promote our forthcoming Wallace 700 commemorations in Stirling
Provost Colin O'Brien
Stirling Council

Stirling Provost Colin O'Brien is accompanying the sword on its historic journey and is set to take part in the Tartan Day Parade.

Mr O'Brien said: "This will put Stirling firmly on the world stage.

"It's a great opportunity to promote tourism and economic development of our city and an ideal opportunity to promote our forthcoming Wallace 700 commemorations in Stirling."

Since 1888 the 6lb sword has taken pride of place at the Wallace Monument, overlooking the site of Wallace's most famous victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, after spending 600 years housed inside Dumbarton Castle.

This year marks the 700th anniversary of the execution of Wallace, which Stirling Council is commemorating with a series of special events this summer as part of its Wallace 700 celebrations.




SEE ALSO:
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