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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 June 2006, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Museum protesters claim backing
Kinneil Museum
Backers of Kinneil Museum want it more heavily marketed
Protesters working to save a museum which commemorates Scotland's Roman heritage have said their campaign has been backed by thousands of people.

Falkirk Council has proposed that Kinneil Museum, on the outskirts of Bo'ness, be moved to a better site.

But opponents are concerned that its collection could be split up.

The authority has suggested that the local hippodrome cinema, currently being refurbished, could be used as a heritage focal point during the day.

The Friends of Kinneil said about 2,000 people had signed a petition to retain and enhance the current museum.

'Historic artefacts'

The group said the museum played a vital role in telling the history of Kinneil Estate at the eastern end of the Antonine Wall, the most northerly frontier of the Roman empire.

Falkirk Council stressed that no decisions had been taken and that the issue was still the subject of an ongoing consultation.

We recognise that there is great public feeling about the future of Kinneil Museum
Robert Spears
Falkirk Council

Friends of Kinneil chairman Adrian Mahoney said: "Kinneil Estate has a wealth of historic buildings and artefacts which have a national importance.

"To close Kinneil Museum and move its collection would in our view be unacceptable.

"I hope the petition and the public outcry from local people will convince the council to have a change of heart."

Mr Mahoney added: "We think that properly publicising the site and refreshing the displays within the museum is the way forward."

Public consultation

The group said it was concerned that part of the collection in the museum could be housed at Callendar House in Falkirk.

The council's environment and heritage convener Robert Spears said: "We recognise that there is great public feeling about the future of Kinneil Museum and we want to hear as many opinions as possible on its future.

"We also want to find out what people think of our plans for the Hippodrome and to give the local community a chance to be involved in its development."


SEE ALSO
World Heritage bid hope for wall
20 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Roman wall heritage bid backing
14 Jun 05 |  Scotland
Visitor numbers campaign gears up
16 May 06 |  Tayside and Central

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