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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 20:07 GMT
'Return stone to Scone' MSPs call
Stone of destiny
The stone was removed from Scotland by Edward I in 1296
There are historic and economic reasons for returning the Stone of Destiny to its original home, MSPs have been told.

Tory deputy leader Murdo Fraser led calls in the Scottish Parliament for the stone to be brought back to Scone Palace in Perthshire.

The stone came back to Scotland from Westminster Abbey 10 years ago and is now on display at Edinburgh Castle.

Mr Fraser, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said a tourist attraction could be built at Scone to house it.

While those wanting to see the stone at the moment have to pay an entry charge to get into Edinburgh Castle, Mr Fraser said his scheme would allow people to see it free of charge.

I think it would add another element to the enormous range of reasons why individuals would decide to visit Perthshire
John Swinney
SNP MSP

He told MSPs: "While there are good historic and indeed romantic reasons for having the stone returned to its rightful home, I do believe that there is a good economic reason too.

"I do believe there is an opportunity for economic benefit to Scone and indeed Perthshire by creating a visitor attraction based around the stone at Scone."

The Stone of Destiny was taken from Scotland by King Edward I of England, known as the "hammer of the Scots", in the 13th century and was installed in Westminster Abbey, where it remained for 700 years.

The cushion-shaped sandstone - on which Scottish, English and British monarchs have been crowned since the ninth century - was handed over to the then-Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth and escorted to Edinburgh Castle in a lavish ceremony in 1996.

However Mr Fraser said there was "no historical, political, constitutional or economic reason for the stone to be in Edinburgh."

Donald Gorrie, Liberal Democrat MSP for Central Scotland region, said he supported Mr Fraser's suggestion.

SNP MSP John Swinney also urged ministers to consider moving the historic symbol.

He said: "I think it would add another element to the enormous range of reasons why individuals would decide to visit Perthshire."

Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, there would be little value to the local economy in housing the stone at Scone Palace if plans for a new road bridge over the River Tay at Scone were allowed to go ahead.




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See more about the proposal



SEE ALSO
Slice of destiny marks Stone date
28 Nov 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Call for stone's homeward return
27 Nov 06 |  Scotland
Church 'livid' at Stone's return
26 Nov 06 |  Scotland

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