[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 8 September 2007, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Skara Brae site graffiti removed
Graffiti at Skara Brae
The graffiti was discovered by staff in August
Experts have successfully removed all traces of graffiti which had been daubed onto the ancient Skara Brae settlement on Orkney.

The vandalism, including the words "Scouse Celts", was found at the 5,000-year-old site last month.

Historic Scotland said careful restoration work had returned the "hugely significant" site back to normal, with no long-term damage.

It had been feared the graffiti could have left permanent marks.

A conservation team was on site immediately after the incident occurred and began researching how best to remove the marker pen.

Thanks to our dedicated team of conservators, House 1 is back to its former magnificent state
Mary Dunnett
Historic Scotland

Stephen Gordon, senior conservator at Historic Scotland, said: "After extensive trials, we achieved the right formula and we are delighted to say it has been remarkably successful."

Poultices made up of a solvent and paper pulp were applied to the graffiti and left to take effect.

This removed much of the marker, but two further poultices with a different combination of solvents were then added to remove the remaining residue.

Mary Dunnett, Historic Scotland monument manager at Skara Brae, said: "After discovering the graffiti, we feared there may be permanent damage to this precious 5,000-year-old stone, but thanks to our dedicated team of conservators, House 1 is back to its former magnificent state.

"Visitors and the local community have been very supportive during the past few weeks since the incident occurred and we are thankful for their co-operation."

The Neolithic village of Skara Brae dates back 5,000 years and appears to have been occupied for about 600 years between about 3100 BC and 2500 BC.

The structures of the semi-subterranean village survive in impressive condition, as does the furniture in the village houses.

New suspect in Skara Brae enquiry
17 Aug 07 |  North East/N Isles
Graffiti daubed at historic site
15 Aug 07 |  North East/N Isles
Find gives clue to island's past
19 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Ancient coins discovered on beach
12 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Dig at ruins uncovered by storm
27 Jun 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Digging deep into Caithness' past
25 Jun 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Crack fears for Skara Brae stones
12 Sep 03 |  Scotland


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific