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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007, 12:18 GMT
Cash boost for 'Da Vinci' chapel
Rosslyn Chapel
Rosslyn Chapel was built in the 15th century
The medieval chapel which had a starring role in the Da Vinci Code blockbuster film has been awarded a multi-million pound restoration grant.

The 15th Century Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian has been given 4.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and 2.68m from Historic Scotland.

Since featuring in Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code, Rosslyn Chapel has seen its visitor numbers quadruple.

The money will help with a new reception, exhibition space and cafe.

The craftsmanship of its stonework is only surpassed by the mysteries its designs hold
Brian Lang
Heritage Lottery Fund

Patricia Ferguson, Scotland's minister for tourism, culture and sport, made the announcement on Thursday.

She said: "Rosslyn Chapel has gained worldwide fame through the success of the Da Vinci Code.

"What many do not realise is that the chapel has in fact enjoyed international acclaim as one of Scotland's most impressive and important buildings for hundreds of years.

"The protection it receives from being listed and scheduled has helped to ensure that we have this national treasure still."

Following 10 years of detailed investigation and planning, an extensive five-year programme of repair has now been established.

It will include conserving and protecting the stonework, repairing the stained and leaded glass and restoring the Victorian baptistery.

Inside Rosslyn Chapel

The temporary tin roof, which has protected the chapel for the last 10 years to let the original roof and walls dry out, will be removed.

Brian Lang, chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund's Scotland committee, said: "The spectacular architecture of Rosslyn Chapel has captivated hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world.

"The craftsmanship of its stonework is only surpassed by the mysteries its designs hold.

"The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to be able to support the conservation of this iconic Scottish building in a project that allows visitors to explore, enjoy and learn about a remarkable piece of Scotland's heritage without detriment to its incredible medieval fabric."

Andrew Russell, managing trustee of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust, said: "These awards mark a vital milestone in the history of the Trust, and of the chapel as a whole.

"When our plans to conserve the fabric of the building and improve our visitor facilities are complete, we expect to have invested over 13m and to be providing a greatly enhanced visitor experience to a much broader audience."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Stonework will be repaired and the tin roof will be replaced



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