Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Burns Monument in revamp appeal

Burns Monument on Calton Hill (Pic Edinburgh Architecture)
Edinburgh's Burns Monument is on Calton Hill

An appeal has been launched to raise funds for the restoration of the Burns Monument in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh World Heritage and Edinburgh City Council have pledged money but more is needed for the Burns Monument on Calton Hill.

The monument is one of the buildings that gave Edinburgh its famous nickname of Athens of the North.

Its intricate neo-Greek temple design reflects the ideas behind the Scottish Enlightenment.

The total cost of the project is expected to be about 350,000.

David McDonald, Edinburgh World Heritage projects manager, said: "The monument also sits in a position with a fantastic view of the city, and it would be good to open it up to the public, perhaps even as an outdoor venue for Fringe events."

I'm sure that this drive will encourage those who love Burns' work to contribute to the further development of this important monument to one of Scotland's greatest poets
Deirdre Brock
Edinburgh City Council

Deirdre Brock, Edinburgh City Council culture leader said: "Robert Burns' body of work is of enormous value to our nation and I am delighted that our investment in the Twelve Monuments project will help restore this stunning tribute to his legacy.

"I'm sure that this drive will encourage those who love Burns' work to contribute to the further development of this important monument to one of Scotland's greatest poets."

Jim Shields of the Robert Burns World Federation said: "We will be advising our members worldwide of the state of this beautiful monument and asking both individuals and clubs for any financial support they can give to this appeal.

"At a more local level, we will also be asking not just Burns Clubs, but all of the many organisations who hold Burns Suppers throughout Edinburgh and Lothians, to put their hands into their pockets to help save this beautiful monument."

Thomas Hamilton

Although repairs have been carried out in the past, officials said the monument's exposed position means that a comprehensive restoration programme is now needed.

Asphalt has been used to repair areas of the roof, but this is now cracking and allowing in water.

The monument is also covered in ornate stone carvings, some of which will need to be replaced.

The monument was built in 1831 in honour of the famous poet, and was designed by Thomas Hamilton, who was also the architect for the nearby Royal High School.

Originally the Burns Monument contained a white marble statue of Robert Burns (1759 -1796) which is now located in the National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street.

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