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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
MSPs called to support Roman wall
The Antonine Wall
The wall marked the northern most frontier of the Roman Empire
Roman soldiers descended on the Scottish Parliament to encourage MSPs to back an application for the Antonine Wall to gain World Heritage Status.

Scottish Conservative Deputy Leader Murdo Fraser MSP has put forward a motion calling on the parliament to support the application.

He has also called on the Scottish Executive to create a National Roman Centre in Scotland.

The 37-mile wall is the UK's official nomination for World Heritage status.

It is the most northerly walled frontier of the Roman Empire and runs from Bo'ness, near Falkirk, to Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire.

We could eventually have thousands of visitors interested in Scotland's ancient Roman sites
MSP Murdo Fraser

The Antonine Guard held a display at the parliament's Garden Lobby on Wednesday wearing full Roman gear.

Mr Fraser said: "I want to see The Antonine Wall gain World Heritage status and the creation of a National Roman Centre in Scotland.

"The impact and contribution of the Romans coming to Scotland hundreds of years ago cannot be underestimated.

"I believe that we must protect and preserve our ancient Roman sites in Scotland and use our sites as an education tool to get Scotland's youngsters interested in our past."

He added: "I am positive that if we get World Heritage status for the Antonine Wall and have a National Roman Centre we could eventually have thousands of visitors interested in Scotland's ancient Roman sites."

"I welcome the Antonine Guard coming to the Scottish Parliament and support the important work they carry out in Scotland and abroad."

Authority support

UK Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announced in January that the Antonine Wall was the UK's official nomination for World Heritage Status.

Conservation body Unesco, which is responsible for the scheme, will examine the proposal and make a final decision at a future date.

The bid has been supported by five local authorities throughout central and the west of Scotland.

The wall was built in about 140 AD to keep Pictish warriors out of the Roman Empire after the conquest of southern Scotland.

It became a monument to the reign of Emperor Antonius Pius but was abandoned after just a generation, in about 165 AD.




SEE ALSO
World Heritage support for wall
23 Jan 07 |  Tayside and Central
Roman wall in running for award
10 Oct 06 |  Scotland
World Heritage bid hope for wall
20 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Roman wall heritage bid backing
14 Jun 05 |  Scotland
Roman museum set to be improved
19 Sep 06 |  Tayside and Central
Roman wall builds heritage claim
22 Feb 03 |  Scotland
Film boost for Roman ruin
25 Jun 02 |  England
What is a World Heritage site?
06 Apr 99 |  UK News

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