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Last Updated: Monday, 18 February 2008, 17:54 GMT
Rankin leaves mark on the capital
Ian Rankin
Mr Rankin was thrilled to have his handprints preserved for posterity
A flagstone dedicated to acclaimed crime author Ian Rankin has been unveiled in Edinburgh after being given the writer's touch.

The Caithness stone slab has been engraved with Mr Rankin's handprints to commemorate his 2007 Edinburgh Award.

It has been unveiled outside the City Chambers on the Royal Mile to help mark the nominations for the 2008 award.

Mr Rankin, who created the best-selling John Rebus detective stories, said he was honoured by the move.

The Edinburgh Award was set up to recognise an individual's outstanding achievements and contribution to the city of Edinburgh.

Each year the winner's handprints will be added to the quadrangle outside the Chambers.

As the Royal Mile is full of monuments for dead people, it's nice to have something for people who are still alive
Ian Rankin
Crime writer

Mr Rankin was the inaugural winner.

He said: "It is a thrill, as the first recipient of the Edinburgh Award, to have my handprints preserved for posterity on the flagstones outside the City Chambers.

"Having written for years about the travails of 'the cooncil', it is only proper and fitting that those same councillors now get to walk all over me for a change."

He added: "It's incredible though as the Royal Mile is full of monuments for dead people, it's nice to have something for people who are still alive.

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Rt Hon George Grubb, said the handprints would serve as a lasting tribute to one of Edinburgh's most celebrated and best-loved authors.

"I look forward immensely to seeing them joined in a year's time by those of the next Edinburgh Award winner, whoever that may be," he said.

Positive impact

Nominees for the award must meet a number of criteria, including either having been born in the capital or having resided there for the past 12 months.

They must have made a positive impact on the city by their contribution to science, culture, sports, enterprise, technology, charity or education.

The award winner will be selected by a panel chaired by the Lord Provost, with representatives invited from the council, Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council and the business community.

Mr Rankin was born in Fife in 1960 and his first Rebus novel, Knots and Crosses, was published in 1987.

The Rebus books are now international best-sellers.

He recently received an OBE for services to literature, and chose to receive the honour in Edinburgh where he lives with his partner and their two sons.

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