Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 10:46 UK

Bard's verse gets 10,000 patron

Auld Lang Syne manuscript
Professor Purdie will be patron of the manuscript for his lifetime

A retired professor has paid £10,000 to become patron of one of Robert Burns' best known works - Auld Lang Syne.

David Purdie, 62, will not be able to take home the 1788 manuscript, which will be kept at the new £21m Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire.

Instead, his status will be recognised by a plaque next to the exhibit.

The lot became available as part of The National Trust for Scotland's bid to raise £1m during 2009 towards the creation of the new Burns museum.

Mr Purdie, who is a retired professor of medicine and patron of the National Trust for Scotland, said: "Being an Ayrshire man, I have had a lifelong interest in our emblematic poet and being able to help safeguard the legacy of one of his most precious works is an absolute pleasure for me.

"There is a necessity to construct a major attraction in which to commemorate his life and work and the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum will provide a lasting legacy for Burns and a major contribution to Ayrshire and to Scotland.

"I see this as a contribution to my home town and my home county. The memory of the life and legacy of the man whose poems and songs, first laid before his family and friends in the farmlands of Ayrshire, were to become the property and the patrimony of mankind."

The new Burns museum, which is due to open in 2010, will hold 4,500 artefacts, including the original manuscripts of Auld Lang Syne and Tam O'Shanter.

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